January Project 12

I haven’t written much about this month’s project, but I promise we have been busy making lots of blessing bags!   We did this same project last January, and it was such a success, we decided to do it again.  You can read about last year’s blessing bags HERE.

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My daughter and I got all the goodies out on the dining room table and got to work!

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This is such an easy project, and a great way to get your whole family involved.   This time we stuffed our bags with bottled water, crackers, fruit, wet wipes, hand warmers, toothbrush, toothpaste, two types of granola bars, tissues, and lip balm.

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I love doing service projects with my kids…they really don’t get how lucky we are to have so much when others have so little.  Reminders like this help them to stay humble and grateful.  I appreciate the donations of water bottles, granola bars, and gift cards to help get these bags out and about.

We have given out bags directly to homeless people, and I have also taken the bags to the different yoga studios that I teach at.

Just spreading the love.  <3

 

 

 

Lower Carb Cookies

cookies

I made some almond butter cookies and some peanut butter cookies a few weeks ago.  Amazing.  These two cookie recipes are a little too dangerous for me to have around.  I loved them almost too much.  They are a lower carb version of your regular cookie, but they still have carbs.  Luckily, both times I made these, it was for a party, so I couldn’t eat them all.  I love sweets, and I sometimes I miss having a sweet treat.  It is a slippery slop though…real sugar is a no go for me, and artificial sweeteners affect me in other ways.  I choose to not eat sugar and wheat for reasons other than losing weight.  First of all, it makes my UC worse.  Secondly, I am extremely addicted to sugar.  The chocolate chips in the first recipe seriously put me over the edge.  (Meaning I ate the rest in one day.)

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Here is what you need for the almond butter cookies:

  • 1 jar of almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of stevia powder extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake (16) cookies for 15 minutes.

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These turned out really good.  Too good.  This recipe made 16 big cookies and they came in at around 150 calories each.  (13g of fat, 8 carbs and 6 g of protein)  This is fine if you eat one cookie, but who does that?  They were still a little to high carb for me, so I decided I would eliminate the chocolate chips and try using a chocolate bar and peanut butter.

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Peanut Butter Cookies:

  • 1 jar of Crazy Richards peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 80% cocoa bar (broken into small pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia
  • 2 eggs (not pictured)

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This dough was a little more doughy and less grainy than the first recipe.  Same deal as the first…Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

This recipe also made 24 cookies.  That made each cookie come in at about 100 calories, 10 grams of fat, 5 carbs, and 6 grams of protein.

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How are you around sweets??  Can you keep cookies in your house? Leave me a comment.  XO

 

Dealing with Grief

Dealing with grief has been a roller coaster for me.  Everyone grieves differently, and I am no exception.  I just wanted to share my experience so far, and I will continue to check in with you from time to time to let you know where I am.  I just didn’t want to start posting low carb almond butter cookie recipes and act like nothing is happening.  (I promise…I’ll post the recipe next.)

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First of all, I am very lucky because I am receiving an overwhelming amount of love and support on a daily basis.  Talk about giving the flowers to the living—above is a picstich of SIX different bouquets in my house.  My mailbox always has cards in it, my friends and family send me messages, meals, and lots of healing energy.  The funny thing is…sometimes these make me so happy.  Other times, the phone calls, cards, and flowers just remind me.  And it is easier to just forget.

Most days I am walking in a fog, just going through the motions.  I had a friend (who lost her mom a few years ago) offer to grocery shop for me.  I thought it was an odd offer…until I actually had to go do it.  It is completely exhausting and it sucks the life out of me.  I am back to teaching yoga, and although I feel lifted and free during the class, I have to come home immediately to rest.  It is hard to believe that I am tired, because I am sleeping.  Hard core sleeping…like 7-10 hours a night.  I have this feeling like God is protecting me by giving me a natural  Ambian at night, and  a natural Xanax during the day.  There has been a few times where these “drugs” have worn off and my husband and I pray feverishly for them to return.

I know this fogginess is going to lift, so I want it to stay as long as possible.  I have learned a lot from friends who have lost a parent (or both) over the past week.  One regret most have is that they waited too long to go to grief counseling.  So I am taking their advice and going  sooner rather than later.

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I am trying not to grief drink.  Or grief eat.  Luckily, my cravings have been for meat and/or avocados.  Or peanut butter soup.  Yep…2 tablespoons of Crazy Richard’s peanut butter melted in the microwave.  I think because I feel empty, I am craving the filling effects of protein and fats.  I’m just really thankful I am not craving carbs or sugar.

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A friend gave me Danielle LaPorte’s desire map 2015 planner.  This has been very helpful for me.  Everyday you write how you want to feel, what you want to experience, who you want to connect with, what aspects of your life you want to develop, and who you are going to serve.  When you are naming what you are grateful for daily, it helps put things in perspective.

Everyday, I make two lists in the planner.  The first is a list of things I HAVE to do.  This looks a lot differently than my to do list three weeks ago.  Right now, I am only requiring that I take care of my children, and teach yoga.   The other list is things that would make me feel better if I did.  Those might be straightening up the house, taking a nap, going to Starbucks, cooking dinner, taking a barre class, or meeting a friend for lunch.  (I cannot bring myself to do yoga right now…it’s barre or Toby walking only.  And I tend to be a hermit, so getting out and seeing people tends to help.)   There have been days that I have completed all items from both lists.  Other days, I drive to go to barre, and have to turn around and come home.  Because I just can’t.  Same thing with the grocery store, coffee dates, and promised YMCA meetups.  I keep driving there, then I turn around and come home.  All I want to do is get wrapped up in Lifetime movies, light my banana nut bread candle and snuggle with my Toby.

Every morning,  I wake up and I think I am ready to start my day.  But then I remember.  Memories flood my mind and I want to close my eyes and just go back to sleep.  But I don’t.  I am fighting that feeling to crawl in a ball.  It still hurts, but I get up anyway.  I get up  and love on my husband and my kids.  I get up and take the day for what it is.  I am owning my feelings, and verbalize them to anyone who will listen.

I am grateful everyday for this beautiful life. I have so many joys to celebrate in my life right now. I can’t help but smile a little…even if it is through tears.

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My sister is here from Dubai.   Obviously she doesn’t visit often, so we are spending lots of time together and I love it.  We celebrated her birthday and it was so cute seeing our kids together.

Some of  my friends are pregnant.  The weather is beautiful.  I really like my teeth.

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Last Saturday, I participated in the Yes Yoga Has Curves book signing and class.  Being a model in the book last year opened up so many opportunities for me…including the newest… a DVD taping in August!

The yoga community has completely wrapped me up in positive, healing energy.  My husband, who is also grieving,  is unbelievably amazing.

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This girl and her success with eating healthy landed her a segment on News14!  We tape next week.  You can read about our journey HERE, and you know I’ll post the link once we air.

So, yes.  This is hard.  It is heavy, and I feel empty and it sucks.  If you are praying for me and my family, please don’t stop.  As my dad always said, “You need the practice, and I need the prayers.”

XO

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My special candle.

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He is my absolute favorite thing in the world right now.  (sorry babe.)

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