Blueberries for Your Face!

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Most of us grew up on blueberry pancakes. We’ve been told by our doctors that blueberries are a great source of antioxidants. But, did you ever consider smearing blueberries on your face?

Given that this is National Blueberry Month, I promised you four Monday’s of blueberry recipes. This series is part of my journey to find joy in food. Years of an eating disorder destroyed my godly view of food and put me on defensive against every occasion to consume calories. So, I am excited to find dozens of uses for each of God’s colorful, delicious creations.

Enter, the Toning Blueberry Facial Mask!

Blend together equal amounts of blueberries, plain yogurt and honey (recommended 2/3 cup) with 1 T oatmeal.

Pour your finished mask into a resealable container and use. Lightly apply the mask with the pads of your fingers, and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Rinse with a damp cloth and cool water.

 

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Happy National Blueberry Month!

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Whole Foods Blueberry Coffee Cake 

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt or bluberry yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed and drained blueberries, divided
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray; set aside. Put 2 tablespoons of the whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and cardamom in a medium bowl and mix together with a fork or your fingers until well combined and mixture is in large clumps; set streusel aside.

Put remaining 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, vanilla and eggs then pour into bowl with dry ingredients and stir until combined. Gently fold in 1 cup of the blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and sprinkle reserved streusel over the top. Scatter remaining 1 cup blueberries over the streusel then top with almonds and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Once cooled, loosen edges of cake and transfer to a plate. Cut into slices and serve.

Nutrition
Per serving: 150 calories (40 from fat), 4g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 40mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 5g protein

Well, those are the “rules” but let me tell you MY way! Drop the calories to less that 200 per 1/4 of the recipe, add some healthy fiber and drop quite a bit of fat!

I replaced the whole wheat pastry flour with instant oatmeal (in both places where it is used). I used Splenda in place of the white sugar, but for the streusel, I did use real brown sugar. I used egg whites instead of whole eggs and “light” blueberry yogurt. Also, I used Brummel and Brown yogurt-butter instead of traditional butter. Finally, the nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, so feel free to use them. I didn’t use them in my first try with this recipe, but I’m sure they’re awesome!

Here’s what I came up with:

Happy National Blueberry Month!!

July

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I bet you didn’t know that July is National Blueberry Month. I didn’t either. However, I think it’s an excellent reason to share some blueberry recipes with you this month. It’s really a stretch to relate blueberries to the lies that hungrily prey on our lives, or the life-giving truth of Jesus Christ, but, I can do it!

For years, at this point, nearly half of my life, food was my enemy. If you’ve read this blog with an regularity, you’ve heard bits and pieces of my story. This blog began there, with a heart to share the truth about God’s good gifts of food, freedom, healthy bodies and a mind singularly devoted to Christ. So now it is my pleasure to share with you the joy I am finding in deliciousness. So, this is a celebration of my truth!

True? I mentioned Privileged Pain once last week. Do you believe in such a thing? Individuals who have everything they could possibly want, every privilege, are often mired deeply in pain. They look “fine.” I’ve certainly been there. I’ve lived a picture-perfect life, but pain hasn’t spared me. Is there a privilege to suffering pain? Biblically there is. We’ll take a look at this on Wednesdays in July.

And Friday. I’ve been a little slow in getting through a book that I am reviewing for Moody Publishers. I began reading Christ’s Prophetic Plans  because I wanted to read the dissenting opinion. Oddly enough, it was my opinion for most of my life and it is still the opinion of the majority of the body of Christ. We are talking about dispensationalism. I won’t provide a definition here, because that’s what the book is about, providing a definition and defense of the tenets of this eschatological belief system. I’m dying to hear your opinions.

So, I’ll see you in the sunny, summer month of July! Looking forward to it!

The Gym Can’t Cut It

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Ask almost any fitness professional and they will tell you that no matter how much you workout out, if your nutrition stinks, you will never reach your goals. I once had a boyfriend in high school as me, “How in the world do you eat so much?”

Now, if anyone asked me that, my answer would probably be, “Because most of what I eat is green.” But back then I said, “I workout so that I can eat whatever I want.” It’s true, for a few dreamy years you can eat nearly anything you want. Your waist may not show it, but your heart will.

In fact, this weekend, my husband and I came across an article that proves my point. An average size girl who ate nothing but chicken nuggets for 15 years, collapsed due to malnutrition. She wasn’t fat, she didn’t really over eat, I don’t know how much exercise she did. However, your body craves the nutrients that your Creator prescribed in the first place.

I love to experiment in the kitchen. A few of my favorite resources are Eating Well and Clean Eating. Usually, I start with something they suggest and modify it until I have something only remotely similar.

Kale is my new favorite find. I don’t know how many times I passed it in the grocery store, not knowing exactly what it was or what to do with it. Now, I have two giant bags of it in my fridge and Patrick keeps finding it in everything (:

Try this one, courtesy of the 21-Day Kickstart Vegan, a fantastic App available for the IPhone.

Southern Beans and Greens

1 C vegetable broth

3 C drained cooked or canned beans (you chose) my favorite was actually chickpeas

1/2 tsp crushed garlic

4 C chopped fresh kale, stems and center ribs removed (I skipped this step)

1 tsp olive oil

sea salt to taste

pepper to taste

Tabasco to taste

Combine beans and broth and garlic in a large saucepan. Place chopped kale on top of beans and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until kale is tender, about 15 or 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil, salt and pepper and Tabasco to taste. I topped my serving with feta cheese.

I think I served this to Patrick once and then decided to eat all the leftovers myself. It is delicious!

What’s Coming Up This April

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I swear I just did this. It seems like two days ago that I filled a page with ideas for a whole new month. But, there’s no rest for the weary and now it’s time to plot April. April showers, right? April doldrums, bleary days, cloudy skies and itchy impatience for the rewards of spring. Well, let me brighten the days of your April. Let’s allow the Son to

Blind us with His glory

Cast rainbows in the falling orbs

Speak peace in pattering showers

And thunder truth in blackened skies.

This month I owe a review to Moody Publishers for Trevin Wax’s book Counterfeit Gospels. Because of the way the book is written, highlighting six prevalent, modern (or postmodern) counterfeit gospels, I want to spend two weeks here. This is an excellent topic for Predatory Lies – unveiling the ultimate lie that destroys all lives: a fatal misinterpretation of THE ONLY SAVING GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRST.

If someone handed you a counterfeit $100 bill, what would you do? Is there any chance you would attempt to pass it off as real; reap the benefits of deception? Is there any benefit to be gained by facilitating a deceptive gospel? I admit, I have turned away after some uncomfortable conversations with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I took the benefit of maintaining a friendship, not rocking the boat, being agreeable, and passed on a counterfeit gospel to a bankrupt spirit in desperate need of the real currency: Jesus Christ and the  immutable truth of His death and resurrection.

The following week, the third week of April, we’ll lighten it up a bit. Kristen and I will be two weeks into our new endeavor Moms Who TRI. My motivation for starting Moms Who TRI, a personal training company with a niche in moms and kids bootcamps, is to preempt the cultural lies about body image and health before they seep unconsciously into the minds of youth. I am also determined to counter the lies that have already invaded the minds of women; lies about dieting, exercise, personal value, and other things.

During the third week of April, I am going to let you vicariously reap the benefits of training with Moms Who TRI. I will tell you the truth about eating healthily, simply and affordably and share several resources and recipes with you. I will dispel the myths of long exercise programs, and give you a quick, ten minute program that you can do at home. (Also, Moms Who TRI can provide you with fresh programs whenever you need them and offer accountability. Please contact us through our Facebook page or our website if you have any questions.)

The fourth week of April, we’re back to the deeper, more sobering elements of the Christian life. It is the truth that living a bold, Christian life is getting harder in the United States; but it cannot be denied that we remain a blessedly free people. I listen regularly to In the Market with Janet Parshall. Janet often covers the issues of the persecuted church world-wide. Each time I hear a broadcast exposing the terrible truth about “over-there,” my heart breaks and little shards of it prick my spirit – why cannot I not remember to pray? If I can do so little physically (which is not so little after all) how is that I allow a slothful heart to hinder my prayers for my persecuted brothers and sisters?

So this week, I will introduce you to Voice of the Martyrs.  Together, we will become more aware and accountably committed to praying for them.

I look forward to April’s showers with you. May God shower you with His grace and a deeper knowledge of Him.

You’re Kidding Me Cookies

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The first version of these cookies was called “Fool Yourself Cookies.” I don’t remember how I found the recipe but I’m really glad I did. I am even happier that I never settle for good enough, first try, or suggested methods. You have to try MY cookies. Just in case Fool Yourself is trademarked (it’s not) I altered the name for my cookies, as in: You’ve Got to be Kidding, These are Healthy?

2/3 C instant oatmeal

1 tsp. baking powder

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

2 2.5 ounce containers prune baby food

2 pkgs. Swiss Miss sugar/fat free hot cocoa mix

2 Tbs. cocoa

1/3 C Splenda

Mix all ingredients. Space evenly on greased cookie sheet – 9 spoonfuls will equal 60 calories per cookie. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. These are divine, but I highly recommend making your alteration. You can’t go wrong. Try Tbs. of PB2 instead of cocoa. Use a full banana instead of prunes or use applesauce or pumpkin or…

Be sure to share your changes here in the comments section. I might want to try your ideas!

A Few Changes

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I think it’s time to implement some changes around here, so I welcome your feedback. Starting in October, and maybe just for October, let’s lighten the mood and lessen the load. I’m only going to post three days a week during October – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with the occasional page-vomit in the middle when I just can’t keep my words to myself (:

I want to devote some extra time to researching related blogs and making some friends in the blogsphere.

So,  if you’re interested in the content you read here and would like to guest post on Predatory Lies, or have me write for your blog, please contact me. Also, I am available for hire to write for Christian blogs, blogs covering health and fitness or poetry; blogs discussing eating disorders and blogs about being a military spouse .

We will also explore some different content here. For the month of October:

Monday will be a “healthified” recipe. I call some of my personal creations “recipes for recovery” as they have encouraged me to find ways to eat and enjoy foods that used to be triggers or fear foods for me.

Wednesday will be my Weakest Moments. Here I am going to be really vulnerable. I am truly seeking the Lord right now for conviction in any hidden areas of my heart. I want to know where my thoughts or behaviors are threatening my intimate relationship with Jesus.

And Friday will be a FREEBIE! Anything I want to share. Funny or otherwise, poetic or prose. Original or content so good it must be repeated. Also, FREEBIES might mean giveaways more than once too! So make sure to leave your comments!

I hope you don’t mind the variety for one month. After that, we’ll re-evaluate if Predatory Lies should return to the original format or morph into a combination of phases one and two. Please, leave your feedback – your opinion is what matters most.

I Tell You the Truth – These Muffins are Awesome!

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I must admit, I’m a little lied-out.  If I’m being totally honest, I want to write about something lighter for a day.  Indulge me.  I’m going to put a severe twist on today’s topic and try to spin it from the angle of “Tell the Truth Tuesday.”

I tried a new recipe this morning.  I really hesitate to bake muffins.  Usually, my most successful muffins must be hacked off the bottom of the muffin tin and then the tin must be soaked overnight in suds and chiseled clean.  If I’m lucky, they will taste great and look more like deflated beach balls – bright stripes of smooshed berries swirled around the top of a shriveled, sunken top.  And on rare occasion, they come out OK, but are a tiny, sad disappointment compared to the giant Otis Spunkmeyer muffins that grin from the bakery case at Safeway.

I had left over crushed pineapple from a teriyaki recipe that I made when my in-laws were visiting.  On a Google hunch, I came across this recipe.  I get the Eating Well Magazine, so I trusted that the recipe was good – if it failed it would most likely be my own fault.

Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins

One more little thing, I never do a recipe exactly as written.  In this case, I omitted the nuts and raisins, used Splenda instead of the 1/2 cup of brown sugar in the recipe, used apple sauce for the oil and egg whites for both eggs.  Then, on accident, I forgot the oatmeal.

Result: INCREDIBLE CARROT CAKE-LIKE MUFFINS.  These little beauties crowned right over the tops of the tins and popped out of the pan like the fabled Little Gingerbread Man.

You have to try them!