Coming Forth as Gold

A few weeks ago, we were sitting in church, and our pastor made a statement that has stayed with me ever since. He said "God can use my problems to CHANGE ME." Sounds like such a simple statement, and yet, it really resonated with my soul and caused me to ruminate on it for a few weeks.

I've always dreaded the "problems" that I've had in my life, whether it was my perfectionism that caused me anxiety, my issues with food and weight, or my need to be liked by everyone. I've always viewed these problems as weaknesses, a thorn in my heel, and issues that I need to somehow manage in order to get by and live life as balanced as possible. I mean, don't we all try to do that? Pacify our problems so that they don't take over our lives? So we can still function normally, and at times even ignore that these problems exist? I've done this time and time again, and it has only resulted in anxiety, depression, emotional eating, and painful loneliness. 

But ever since our pastor made that simple comment above, that God can use our problems to change us, I've had an entirely different view of my problems. I've even viewed them as blessings; avenues that God has allowed me to take in order to change me from the inside out.  I just keep thinking of Job 23:10, (even though Job went through WAY more than I have), and how God has seen my problems, "tried" me, and that I will come forth as gold. 

You might think that is being a bit too positive, but hear me out. All my life, I've tried to stay quiet about my problems and my issues. I've hidden my struggles with food for the past 14 years. I've told people one thing, and I've done another. I've isolated myself in depression and loneliness over not being liked, not having friends, and just never being "enough." I've wallowed in self pity for years, and I can honestly say that in this past year, God has done SO much work on my heart, has tried me, has loved me...and is refining me to the point that one day, by His grace, I will come forth as gold. These negative thoughts about myself have been replaced with empowering ones, and I know that God is doing a work in my life. 

Being open about my struggles with food and weight have actually turned into a blessing. Honesty has allowed me to CHANGE my habits, overcome the binge-restrict cycle that I have followed since I was 13; and, the best part, it has allowed me to reach out to dozens of people that have experienced the same struggles I have. I have had the opportunity to pour into other peoples' lives, share my vulnerabilities, and be a support to them, just as I have received support from those around me. 

I really believe that the problems I have experienced are being used by God. He is using me to grow me and change me, and in the process, to help and encourage others. I am beyond blessed to be doing what I do and a dietitian and a health and fitness coach, and to have such a loving Father that would allow me to be used in this way. If I hadn't gone through what I have, I wouldn't be half as relatable to those I serve. 

There are days I still struggle, get depressed, fight anxiety, and eat emotionally. But, I know that God is refining and pruning me, and for that I am grateful. He never gives up on us! We can never mess up TOO much for Him. We can't "out-sin" His forgiveness and grace. God is in the business of showing us the grace and mercy that we do NOT deserve. His love is simply amazing. 

This is why, I will continue to view my problems as a means of God changing and refining me. Of His transformative power working in my life. All the hardships in my life are for a purpose, and God will use them to glorify Him! 

"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10

Where are you found?

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith..." Philippians 3:8-9

During one of my quiet times this week, these few verses got highlighted in my brain. I found myself asking myself, "where am I found?" over and over again throughout the week. It was a question that intrigued me, unsettled me, and caused me to rethink many aspects of my life and thoughts. Paul's words are cutting, convicting, and truly depict the biblical reality that the word of God is the sword of Spirit (Eph. 6:17). It makes us think and reevaluate the position we give Jesus in our lives. Paul makes his view very clear; he considers everything to be worthless compared to the value he places on knowing Christ, his Savior and Redeemer. Wow. Instead of just skimming past those verses, let them really sink in. Read them over again. Pray. Now read them one more time. 

I find myself being "found" in so many different parts of my life and grasping at anything and everything around me for identity, value, and peace. Whether it is being the best dietitian I can be, a loving new wifey, a worthy daughter, a selfless friend, and a "good Christian" (whatever that means), there are so many ways I can make myself feel that I am falling short as a person. I can measure and compare myself to others and find areas where I am not working hard enough, loving hard enough, or just plain BEING enough. But why am I finding my worth in these things? Why am I FOUND in these things? Paul sure wasn't. He was found in Christ through his faith, and calls us all to do the same. He calls us to count everything worthless compared to knowing Christ. 

Every time I've read these verses in the past, they've seemed so distant to vague. I often wish someone would just flat out give me a checklist of how to fulfill so many things that we are called to do in the Bible and the type of people we are created to be in Christ. I wonder what my life would look like if I were truly found in Christ the way Paul was, instead of my being found in my career, looks, health, wealth, and every other idol we as humans create for ourselves. 

After journaling and praying about these verses, I realized that being found in Christ, for ME, would mean that the loss of any of those above things wouldn't matter, because I would be found in Him, I would KNOW HIM, and that joy and satisfaction would surpass any other worldly achievement I reached. It would mean more to me than a pay raise, a pat on the back, or another pound lost on the scale. Those things wouldn't match up to the value and worth of knowing Jesus Christ more and more every day. 

And how do I go about knowing Jesus more intimately? By really and truly dedicating time in my day to spend with Him. And not only time, but dedicating my mind, body, spirit, and every sense to HIM. Yes, I have a daily quiet time, but to be honest, I often forget what I read in the Bible or which short devotional I skimmed through before rushing off to work. My brain gets bombarded by so many other worries, stresses, and even joys, that I often put that quiet time I spent with Jesus on the back burner instead of keeping it at the forefront of my mind all day long. I go through the actions, read, pray, but my mind wanders off to my to-do list, to my worries, and to all the things that I could be doing instead. But God doesn't deserve that. 

My prayer and desire is that God brings to my mind all the things that He has taught me. I pray that I can find a way to remember and cherish the glimmers and gifts that He bestows me with. I want things to STICK, you know what I mean? I want to learn and absorb and find myself not being able to get enough of Jesus.

Lord, help me desire YOU more than anything else. Help me to be FOUND IN YOU, and YOU alone, no matter what distractions come my way. When I feel overwhelemd, overworked, and like I am not enough, I pray that I find You in the midst of those thoughts. Help me refocus on You, and to remember who YOU say that I am and not who the world or even I am telling myself that I am. Strengthen my brain and mind to absorb and remember all You teach me, and to be truly present in my time with You. Help me believe your truths, and may everything else count as "rubbish" compared to the surpassing value and worth of knowing You, Jesus. Amen. 

In the World, not of the World

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/a4a/46014533/files/2014/12/img_4814.jpg Hello out there!! Sorry I have been MIA lately. Life has been busy with Christmas, work, and wedding stuff. And I have purposefully taken some time off of my Instagram, blog, and social media in general. I have used this past week to really reflect on what is important to me, what God has taught me this past year, and where He wants me to go from here.

I have come to the conclusion that life is just weird. We live in a world of constant self centeredness and yet are called to be selfless and loving. We live in a world of indulgence and yet are called to self control and discipline. We live in a world that worships anything and everything and yet are called to worship our one and only God in heaven. It's just weird, right??

This past week, I have realized the areas in my life that I get sucked into the world and forget where my heart belongs. I get so caught up in the every day stresses of life, as well as things that are inherently good such as health, family, wedding things, etc. But all of those don't mean anything unless God is in the center of it all. I have realized that I can't lose focus of Him, or everything starts falling apart. I need to always stay tuned to God and what His plan and will is for me. Like the verse above says, we need to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.

The way I see it, earthly things will always be there. We need to make ZERO effort to focus on these things. They are all around, almost bombarding us daily. The struggle is staying SO connected to God in our everyday life that we set our hearts and minds on Him, and approach these earthy things in the way He wants us to. He put us in the world after all, but not OF the world. I am praying that God shows me how to do this in a way that glorifies Him.

I am still reflecting on my New Years resolutions and goals and will post them sometime in the next few days. I hope you all have a safe and happy New Years Eve with friends and family!!

"Lead me to the Cross"


This is my song today. This is my prayer today. That God would lead me to the cross where Jesus died. That I would recognize how much God loves me and gave His own Son for my forgiveness. That His love pours out and is immeasurable...more than I could ever imagine. That what I am means nothing without Jesus Christ saving me. That, just as Luke 9:23 says, "Whoever wants to be my [Christ's] disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me [Him]."

How could I pick anything or anyone besides Jesus? How could anything take His place in my life. I pray that God "rids me of myself," all my selfish desires, and all the clutter that gets in the way of my relationship with Him. Because it isn't worth it. I belong to HIM. I want to be rid of myself. I want to be filled with more of Jesus, less of me. I want my faith, hope, joy, and love to be increased in Him. I want Him to be shown through all I do today. I am asking Him for His strength to help me lay myself down, surrender myself to Him, and truly belong to Him each and every day through my words, thoughts, and actions. Amen.

30 days of Consistency

Good morning everyone! I can't believe it is already August...this summer is just speeding by! Before we know it, it will be Fall again, and then...CHRISTMAS! Am I getting ahead of myself? Oh well, I love Christmas and everything about wintertime. So I really can't wait! :) I thought I would write a little update post on my workouts since I haven't done a post on fitness for a while. July was a really consistent month for me in regards to both fitness and nutrition (yay!) and, not shockingly, I have seen the most changes in my body and physical abilities because of this. Consistency is key, and I have really seen the difference that consistent healthy eating and workouts can bring.

I workout about 5-6 days a week, doing cardio almost every day, and doing toning work and strength training 3-4 days a week. I work with a personal trainer every Monday morning, and then work out of a log book for the rest of the week.

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Each workout lasts about 50 minutes-1 hour, including both cardio and strength training.

*My cardio consists of running 3-4 miles, walking, or doing the elliptical machine for 30-40 minutes.

*I alternate my strength training days between legs/abs, chest/triceps, back/biceps, and shoulders/abs.

I have been upping my weights this month and have been amazed at what I am capable of! When I began being more consistent with my strength training in May, I started my bicep curls with 5lb dumbbells, and now 10lb dumbbells are getting easy! I could only do 6 male (aka the real kind) push ups when I first started, and now I can do 15. I'm seeing more definition in my arms and I am really liking the results I am experiencing! The picture below shows the first day I actually spotted a baby bicep! :)

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Of course, it isn't just about workouts. We can workout all we want, but our goals are a direct results of our nutrition. Whether we want to lose weight, tone up, or grow bigger, nutrition is 80% of the equation! For months, I was working out consistently, but was not consistent with my eating. This month, I have been pretty consistent (not perfect mind you, just making healthy choices more than unhealthy ones!) and have really seen the difference that healthy and balanced eating can make in my fitness and physical appearance. It's been exciting for me to see changes and I can't wait to see what the next few months bring!

My typical meals include:

Pre workout meals of HB eggs, banana, nuts, or a gluten-free baked good of mine (search the blog for tons...and I mean TONS of recipes!)

Post workout meals are mostly eggs, sausage, veggies, sweet potatoes, or some kind of fruit. I focus on protein and carbs for my post workout, which helps with recovery and my energy levels! Below is me thoroughly enjoying my scrambled eggs and spiraled sweet potatoes after a workout! :)

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Lunches and dinners have included protein, vegetables, lots of vegetables, more vegetables, and healthy fats! I love vegetables, if you can't tell. When I go out, I also try to make healthy choices whether it is a salad, or this beautiful plate below. You can never go wrong with chicken and vegetables, but make sure to not get bored of it as well. Sometimes, I will include rice or some kind of grain to my meals. But I always make sure to have them in the correct portion and not overdo these foods. I would hate to have less vegetables because I filled up on rice!

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**Make sure to follow me on Instagram (@tveen_rd) for a day-by-day account of my eats and workouts!**

I don't follow a strict diet mentality. I just make sure to eat whole, nutritious foods. It took me a while to get to this point. But I have found that the more freedom I give myself in my food choices, the more naturally I gravitate towards the healthier options. I love how eating healthy makes me feel, and I always feel better after a meal that nourishes me. But, life is not about labels (as I have written about before...see Labeling Life post from January), and I feel that God is constantly teaching me this through my healthy eating and fitness journey.

As a Registered Dietitian, I am bombarded with nutrition news, research, and diets that always overwhelm and confuse the public, as well as myself from time to time! I try to focus on the healthy side of each diet philosophy, even though I may not agree with 100% of what some advocate. So whether my meals are paleo, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or a random hodgepodge of food, I try to make the healthy choice, while leaving some wiggle room for whatever may come my way! :)

It's been exactly 30 days of consistency for me, and I am loving the way I feel and the changes I am seeing. I can't wait to see what these next 30 days will bring me!


1 Corinthians 10:31: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."


Arrowhead Musings

We all have had those unforgettable weekends. Whether it is at a church retreat, vacation, or simply a wonderful few days spent at home, some weekends will be ingrained in your mind forever. Well, that was this past weekend for me. I know I mentioned in a previous post about what a wonderful weekend it was. I had a fun and joyful time with my fiancé, family, and friends. But there are so many things that God taught me that I never want to forget. I probably will, being human and all, but I know God will keep reminding me, speaking to my heart, and will not give up on growing and teaching me. Writing has always helped me sort out my thoughts, so I thought that I would write out some of the things I learned in order to refresh my mind and be reminded of God's goodness and blessings upon me.


*God's creation is absolutely beautiful. *God wants to change our hearts, and turn our world upside down. *Let go of myself, and let God work through me. * God can renew my mind and fill me more and more with Him. * I desire to be used by God in whatever way He sees fit. * Being crucified with Christ means I can let go of me, and not be dictated by my past failings because God has made me new! * It is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me! * Attitude means everything. * Gratefulness needs to be a part of my everyday life and world view.

And then a few more things... * Donuts bring people together. * It's really hard to workout in high altitudes...but my fiancé is a trooper for waking up at 6am to do boot camp with me! * It can rain, then be sunny in the mountains within an hour. * I shouldn't be afraid to play sports...even though I am no volleyball champion! * Having really fun! * Letting my "little cousin" drive me in a go decision I've ever made! Haha :) * My family means everything to me.....I love them more than words can say. * I really miss my Asdghig Auntig... * Even uncomfortable beds can give you incredible rest. * It's amazing how much you don't use your phone when you are away with those you love and in God's creation! *Appreciate every seemingly little and big thing that God brings your way. A grateful heart brings joy.

Thank you Jesus :)

Psalm 27

Psalm 27

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? 2 When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

4 The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. 5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. 6 Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.

7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! 8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” 9 Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. 12 Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. 13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

I have been reading this passage over and over for the past week. So many thoughts have been bouncing around in my head about it. Every time I read it, I gain new insight and understanding into what the psalmist (David) is trying to express. I love that about God's word, it is alive and active! Never gets boring and never stops being relevant. My fiancé mentioned this passage to me last week at a point where I was feeling pretty down about different things going on in life. Even though I have read this passage countless times growing up, it came alive to me this past week to a point where I could just not get enough. I began mediating on it and rereading different verses and began to see and understand more and more how God is always with us and how I should not live in fear. I thought I would try to write out my reflections on this passage in the hopes of organizing them in my mind, and maybe motivating some of you to read it as well! This passage was a great comfort to me, and I know it will be to anyone else who reads it as well!

The first part of the psalm immediately starts out by saying the Lord is our light and salvation. Light shows us the way to go, and the Lord does just that. He clarifies our way and decisions. All we need to do is go to Him and remain in His light. The verses go on to say that the Lord is our fortress and protects us, so why are we afraid? I am such an overthinker/worrier and am constantly afraid of some "what-if" that ends up not even happening. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things in life that are perfectly legitimate things to be afraid of. But with the Lord at our side, we can stand in confidence (v. 3). It may feel like we are at war and that we are surrounded by constant attack, worry, hopelessness, or any other negative association with this world. But God is at our side, and we can remain confident in Him!

I love how David expresses how much he desires and longs to be with God. I want that longing for God and only God. In verse 4, he says that the ONE thing he asks for and seeks is to live in the house of the Lord and delight in Him. The more we know God, the more we will delight in Him, and the more we will WANT to know Him. I've realized that the best way to know God is to ask God to open up my heart to His presence and goodness, immerse myself in His word, and stay in constant communication with Him.

One of the most profound parts of this psalm for me was verses 7-8, where David says that his heart has heard God's call, and his heart responds back to God saying "Lord, I am coming." I love this. I realized that David's close relationship to God (he was, after all, known as a man "after God's own heart") made it possible for him to hear the Lord's calling, and for his heart to respond to his God. Our hearts can be so distracted and full of many other things in this world that we can hardly hear the soft call of God to come to Him, spend time with Him, and rest in His presence. I want there to be CLARITY in my heart. I want nothing to stand in the way of God's communication and call to my heart, so that when I hear it, I can respond as David did: Lord, I am coming! To me, this means not spending time or energy on anything that will draw me away from God, and cause me to fall father away from Him and His love. This also means trusting in God, going to Him in times of trouble, and believing that He is who He says He is, and He will be there and comfort me always, just as verse 9 says about how God has always been David's helper.

David also asks God to "teach him how to live" (verse 11). I realized that so many times, I am unwilling to learn new things, especially if they mean a disturbance in my everyday routine and life. David had a teachable heart. He constantly wanted to learn from the Lord and be willing to grow. This has become my prayer, that the Lord would grow me and strengthen me, and teach me how to live for His glory and purpose, not my own. David ends this psalm by saying he is confident he will see God's goodness in the land of the living. He is confident that God is good, all the time. He wants to wait patiently for the Lord, because His timing is perfect (hey, it's a cliche because it's TRUE). I love that he uses the words "brave" and "courageous." He calls us to be those two things, which means it actually is possible to be brave, courageous, and not live in fear. This goes right back to how he starts his psalm about not living in fear and not being afraid, because God is with us. Only the Lord can enable us to be brave and courageous, because He is our light, and will lead us to His goodness.

Oh, how I love the Word of God! The more you dig into the Word, the more alive it becomes. I pray that this desire never dies in my life, and I also pray that all of you can experience the joy of relationship with the Lord as well!

Zucchini Stew & My Last Day of "Freedom!"

Well, today was my last day of unemployment. Everyone keeps saying it's my last day of freedom, which I accept. I won't be able to spend hours at the gym anymore, cook long drawn-out meals for myself, read a book a day, or go see 10am movies for $7. But, I am beyond blessed to have gotten this job and am so excited to start my career as a Registered Dietitian! I woke up around 5:30 this morning and immediately got up to get a head start on my day. I had things that I had to get done today, such as cleaning my closet and organizing my clothes, so I didn't waste any time! As I've mentioned before, one of my goals this year is to read through the entire Bible in one year. I finished the book of Genesis today, so one book down and 65 to go! I especially love Genesis 50:20, when Joseph reconciles with his brothers that sold him into slavery and says, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." (Genesis 50:20 ESV)

I love this verse because it basically sums up God's redemptive work in our lives. There is a lot of evil and hard situations in the world we live in, so we definitely need the grace of God to get us through the life He has given us on earth!! But what is meant for evil towards us, God can redeem and work out for our good! I've experienced this countless times in my own life. When things are going horribly or I have no idea why something is not working out, I remember that God means for things to turn out for good according to His plans and purposes! It fills me with peace and comfort, because even though I may have no idea what I am doing, God always knows, and His plans are way better than mine! Just check out the following verses!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8, 9 ESV)

After my quiet time, I had a quick pre-workout meal before going to the gym. I had my favorite halloum cheese again melted in one of my grain-free tortillas! Check a few posts back for the link to the recipe I used by Against All Grain!

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I still felt a little hungry after my cheese sandwich, and I didn't want to run low on fuel during my workout! So I had a few of our many macadamia nuts before heading out the door!

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My workout was pretty good today! Which is great because I'm definitely going to have to tweak and adjust my workout schedule once I start my new job tomorrow!! This morning, I did 3 miles on the elliptical, and 12 miles on the bike (which is the equivalent of 4 miles for my 150 miles by valentines day challenge)! I'm at a total of 83/150 miles so far.

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After my cardio, I did some deadlifts, the lat row machine, and the tricep machine! I'm excited because I've definitely been feeling stronger and needing to up my weight, which is a sign of progress! The minute I got home, before losing motivation, I also did my TIU Love your Booty routine for the Love Your Body challenge I am doing with Tone it Up!

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After my workouts, I made some egg tacos and used my last two grain-free tortillas to wrap them up. I was so sad I was out of tortillas, but I'll definitely be making these again on a regular basis because I just loved them!!

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It was almost 9:30 after my breakfast, but I was still not feeling motivated to clean my room. I decided to do the quick TIU Beach yoga routine instead before showering and attacking my closet.


The yoga routine is 20 minutes, challenging, and gave me the right balance of relaxation and motivation to get to my closet. But, after my shower, I skyped with one of my best friends that moved away a week ago, which was a definite necessity since I miss her like crazy! Then, I finally turned my attention to the clothes! It felt so nice weeding out things that I've had since high school but NEVER wear, and organizing all of my shoes and outfits. It also helped me see that I really DO have ample clothes for a business casual wardrobe, and will not be needing to go shopping for work clothes...drat! :)

After packaging up by clothes to give away, I looked at the time and it was almost 1pm! I reheated the remainder of my turkey chili and sliced up some cucumbers into little "chips" to dip into my hummus. I was STUFFED by the end of this meal! Something about the protein, fat, and veggie combination in that chili makes it a nutritional punch and fills you up, setting you up for an energetic afternoon instead of a slump! Check a few posts back to see my easy peasy turkey chili recipe!

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After lunch, I decided to spend some time out of the house. I wanted to do something fun on my last day as a free woman, so I decided to head to my local Peet's coffee shop and enjoy some time outside while reading and sipping on my favorite Masala Chai tea! The weather has been beautiful here, so I wanted to enjoy every minute of it! And I was even able to wear my cute green shorts in January...and what could be better than that!??

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I spent over 2 hours at Peet's reading, journaling, and doing some Bible study homework. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I didn't want to tear myself away, but knew I had to get home. After cleaning up my room a little more, I got to cooking dinner with my Mama! My family makes an amazing zucchini stew that is usually served over rice, but since adopting a more grain-free diet, I've eaten it just by its lonesome without the rice, and have never looked back! I don't even miss the rice because the zucchini, beef, and tomato sauce give so much flavor to this dish that is still tastes delicious even on its own. It is the perfect bowl of comforting goodness, which is why I put it on the menu for tonight! I wanted to make a meal that was warm, nourishing, and would make enough for leftovers for me to take to work tomorrow. This meal was just that!

Zucchini Stew (makes 6 servings)

2 T olive oil

1 cup diced onions

1 lb ground beef (we used the grass fed 85/15 from Trader Joe's)

6 medium-sized zucchini

1 15 oz diced tomatoes

3 T tomato paste

1 t salt

1/2 t red pepper

1/2 t black pepper

1/2 t all spice

Start by heating up the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the ground beef and chop it up into tiny pieces until it is cooked through.

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While the beef is cooking, wash and slice up your zucchini into thin disks!

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Once the meat is cooked all the way through, add the zucchini, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings! Mix all the ingredients together, then leave the pot over medium heat for about 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. There should be enough liquid in the pot since zucchini release a lot of moisture, but if the mixture ever gets dry, add a bit of water to it!

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Once the zucchini cooks through and gets mushy, the dish is done! It should resemble a stew-like consistency.


We thoroughly enjoyed this meal tonight; my parents added rice to theirs, but I enjoyed the stew as is! I hope you all get to try this dish this winter; it's perfect for cold and cozy nights! Not to mention it is gluten/grain free, paleo, and Whole 30 approved!


Well, my last evening as a free woman is coming to a close! Now I have to pack my lunch for tomorrow (that's going to take getting used to!) and run a few errands before bed! I need to find a purse that is cute, professional, but still big enough to hold my nalgene water bottle, notebook, and any other necessities I may need at work. It's definitely hard to find a purse with all of those qualities, but I am determined!! I hope you all have a wonderful night! The next time you hear from me, I will be a working girl! :)

New job!!! Lemon-mint salad dressing, and Daily Manna!!

Hello everyone! Whoa look at that, two posts in a row! I am so excited today to announce that I finally got a job!!! photo 2-2

I have been in the interview process for a job at WIC (a program for women, infants, and children that provides supplemental food and nutrition education) for a few months now. Since first learning about WIC 6 years ago, I have been wanting to work there! How amazing is it that you get to empower and support women and kids to get the right nutrition and have access to healthy foods?! I am beyond blessed that this job came to me and I have been thanking God non-stop for this amazing opportunity! I officially start training this Thursday, January 16th (ahhh 1 day left!) and I just cannot wait!

My day was quite a busy one! Even though I still feel like I haven't done much. I have been wondering if I will miss the life of unemployment, but I think I am way too excited about this job to ever look back! Dear Home, it's been nice, but I am SO ready to get out there!

I woke up around 5:30am this morning and did some quiet time. Some people are amazed at how I wake up so early, but let me tell you, it's taken years of practicing how to sleep. I'm serious! From the time I was a child, I was a chronic insomniac and was never able to sleep. I would be up all night, tossing, turning, reading, walking around my room, or just staring blankly at the ceiling praying that morning would somehow come sooner...just this once. About a year and a half ago, when I began to cut out gluten and some other inflammatory grains, I noticed such a huge difference in my sleep! I was able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer (I sound like a commercial). I also learned that I MUST pay attention to my body's cues. If I get sleepy at 9pm, I have to take advantage of that window of opportunity, and actually sleep at 9pm! If I fight my sleepiness, I end up staying awake all night long. So now, if I am sleepy at 9pm, I sleep at 9pm! I try to listen to my body, not only when I eat and when I workout, but also for rest and relaxation. I know that the only way I will be able to be the best version of me is when I am healthy, active, and rested!

So anyways, after my quiet time, I had 2 of my paleo tortillas from yesterday with a bit of almond butter smeared on top. These tortillas are absolutely amazing and are from the Against All Grain website if you want to check it out! I included the link in my post yesterday! :)

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I had an okay workout today. I was feeling really low energy for some reason, so I didn't push myself speed or resistance-wise. I still did about 30 minutes on the elliptical and 25 minutes on the bike, but I definitely didn't try to challenge myself. I broke a sweat and burned some calories while still going easy on myself, which is what I needed! I also did some shoulder and bicep work, along with the chest press machine and the lat pulldown machine.

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I got home and felt so exhausted, and was starving! I decided to not only have my usual veggie omelet, but also have yet another paleo tortilla (I'm telling you, I love these things!) with some of my favorite Middle Eastern cheese melted inside!

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Halloum cheese has been my all time favorite cheese every since I was born. I blame this cheese for the reason why I can't stand cheddar, monterey jack, or any other typical American cheeses. This cheese is just THAT good. It's made from sheep's milk, it's pretty high in fat, and I really don't care one bit! :) I melted two sticks of it in my tortilla this morning, it was delicious, and I enjoyed every bite of it!

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After breakfast, I finished up a great book I have been reading called "Lazarus Awakening" by Joanna Weaver about really enjoying your personal relationship with God, believing that God loves you, and living as an ALIVE person in His love and promises. It was such an incredible study, with questions and journal reflections at the back of the book! I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a bible study/devotional book!

Around 10:45am, I headed out to an appointment I had, which was about a 40-minute drive away. The appointment also lasted a while, so I didn't get to have my lunch until about 1:30pm! Boy am I glad I had a filling breakfast! I reheated some of my yummy turkey chili (recipe is in yesterday's post!) and had some veggies with hummus as a side!

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I started reading an article on green tea after lunch, but about halfway through I decided to get up and do the new Tone it Up Love Your Arms and Abs routine! I had crazy amounts of energy after lunch, which is ironic considering I was exhausted this morning, and atypical of the usual afternoon slump that people suffer from. So I wanted to take advantage of my energy and do the workout two times through, but my sore muscles were not having it. My arms and back were still sore from my workout a few days ago, so I just did the routine once. I absolutely LOVED it though, and will definitely be doing it again!

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The afternoon was busy with some errands: picking up my car from the dealer's and going grocery shopping! My mom and I made fish and salad tonight, with some leftover roasted potatoes from her dinner last night! It was so cute because I walked into the kitchen and my mom was busy portioning her almonds in little containers for work! How cute is that?! She is definitely the mother of a some respects haha :)

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We usually get the pre seasoned Cajun salmon from Trader Joe's on fish night! This salmon is so delicious, has good ingredients (nothing funky!) and is so easy to make! We just popped it on the stove top in some foil for about 25-30 minutes while we chopped up our salad, and dinner was served!

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Everyone asks us about our homemade lemon-mint salad dressing. Honestly, I have no idea how to explain this recipe, because it's definitely one of those "eye-balled" recipes the women in my family have been making for generations. But, for a standard sized salad mixing bowl (about 8-10 inches in diameter) filled with lettuce and veggies, we use approximately these measurements of the following ingredients!

Lemon-mint dressing:

2 T lemon juice

2 T olive oil

1/4 t salt

1/4 t red pepper

1/4 t crushed mint

1 clove garlic, crushed (OR use 1/4 t garlic salt for both the garlic and salt)

Pour the ingredients straight onto the salad, toss, and enjoy! This dressing is light, healthy, and tastes great with pretty much any salad combination!

After dinner we had Bible study, and then headed back home! Now for some Downton Abbey before bed...unless I get sleepy, in which case it's bed for me! I hope you all have a wonderful night!

Trust me, I'm a Dietitian!

Hello everyone! Sorry for the silence lately. I have some hard news, as well as some good news to share. Isn't that funny how life works? God always strengthens us to go through the hard times and sometimes sprinkles some blessings right on top! He is so good and faithful in all circumstances. I don't know how I would have gotten through the month of November without His strength, peace, and comfort. On Sunday, November 24th, my sweet and beautiful aunt went to be with her savior Jesus Christ. It has been such a hard time for my family and I, but we have comfort in the fact that we will see her again!

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With that being said, it had been very difficult to study for my RD exam last month, especially while my family and I were going through this time of grieving and loss. I was so sad, could not focus, and just wanted to be with my Medzmama (grandma), aunts, uncles, and cousins. I had already scheduled my RD exam for Monday, December 2nd, but I had pretty much thrown in the towel on studying the few weeks leading up to it. I felt so "done" and did not even want to look at my review books anymore! After my aunt passed away and I was not able to study the week leading up to my exam, I had accepted the fact that I would use this test as a practice run and would do better on my second try. I didn't think I would pass, and was finally coming to terms with that fact.

SO! On Monday morning, December 2nd, I groggily woke up (having been sleep deprived for about a week) and got ready for my exam. I prayed and prayed that God would help me remember all the things I had learned, not just from studying for my exam, but from my undergraduate and graduate nutrition classes as well! Of course, I wanted to pass this exam, but did not see any glimmer of hope that this would actually happen. But, I prayed the whole way to the test center and finally sat down at my designated computer to take my exam. After a few computer glitches that I experienced (of course, this would happen to me!) I was finally able to start my exam. After about an hour, I saw this pop up on the screen...

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I almost fell out of my seat! I wanted to scream and jump up and down and hug each and every person in the testing room with me. I blinked, rubbed my sleepy eyes, and checked the screen again. And it STILL said congratulations! I could not believe it. I was finally an RD! I knew then and there that God had His hand on me the whole time and helped me remember and recall all the things I needed to pass my exam. He gave me focus, determination, and grace throughout the whole process. I thank Him and Him alone for helping me and strengthening me to pass this exam, because truthfully, it was against all the odds that I would pass!

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not naive enough to think that I answered all my questions incorrectly that morning, and God still happened to make the screen say "congratulations." I don't think God hands us things on silver platters, while we sit on the couch and put zero effort into the process. But, I do believe that God helped me remember all the things I had studied those months and weeks prior to my aunt's passing. I do believe He graced me with His peace and strength, while giving me calm and wisdom to get through each question on the exam. I am so thankful to Him because even throughout this difficult time in my life, He blessed me with this miracle!

I am officially a registered dietitian! And I still can't believe it! I have been waiting for this moment for almost 8 years and it has finally come. I can't wait to start my career as a dietitian and help as many people as I can. I thank God for helping me achieve this accomplishment, and I pray that I can use it all for HIS glory!