Hello 2019! (Orange Strawberry Green Smoothie)

Hello to a new chance to stay on plan!

The holidays are gone, but the junk food around my house still exists! So I am trying to balance eating right with a little bit of non-plan chocolate or sweet treats! The good news is I started exercising before Christmas and I have kept it up through the holidays and into the New Year! I am not a New Year’s Resolution kind of person, I truly just want to make healthy decisions all year long so this post won’t be all about my New Year’s resolutions, but I do have some goals for this year.

For those of you who don’t know I have started following and creating recipes for the Trim Healthy Mama Eating Plan. On this plan I have cut out a lot of sugar and gluten products from my diet and I lost about 7 pounds in 3 months. I know that is not a lot of weight but I also have never followed the plan 100% so imagine if you did! Imagine how wonderful you would feel. The basis of this plan is to eat every 4 hours and to eat meals that fit into certain categories. S meals are Satisfying meals and have higher amounts of fats and E meals are lean proteins with a carb source and you make sure to space these meals out (about 4 hours apart) to give your body a chance to digest each fuel type. This is a very, very basic explanation of the plan, if you would like to learn more about this plan join the or visit the Trim Healthy Mama Website for more information.

One of my goals this year to drink more smoothies in the morning even though its winter! Burr! I don’t love smoothies in cold weather, but I have found that if I exercise like I want to and drink a smoothie right after when my body is still warm, its not too bad. Why do I want to drink smoothies? I feel like I loose weight faster when I start the morning with a nutrient and protein rich smoothie paired with an on plan muffin (my favorite muffin is the Peanut Butter Cookie Muffin (page 371 of Trim Healthy Table cookbook) which is a FP and pairs with any breakfast) or piece of sprouted grain toast. This kick starts my metabolism and prepares my body for the day ahead. Smoothies also make a great breakfast to eat on the run! I have even started making smoothies for my husband the night before and he tells me they are still good in the morning.

My newest smoothie recipe is an Orange Strawberry Green Smoothie (recipe below). It’s so yummy and refreshing! I bet your wondering what the “green” is in the smoothie. Well it’s Frozen Okra! Yes, okra! The THM plan uses a lot of okra and I have found if used correctly you can’t even taste it, nor will anyone know its there if you don’t tell them. I don’t have all the ideas behind Okra researched myself, but its like putting spinach in your smoothie. It packs in a green vegetable that has lots of nutrients that your body needs and you can’t even tell that is there. I challenge you to use some okra this year. My husband I love the casserole recipes that use Laughing Cow Cheese and Okra to make creamy delicious sauces. (See this post for recipes I created with this type of sauce.) Okay back to the smoothie recipe you have been waiting for, I hope you enjoy it!

Orange Strawberry Green Smoothie

Step 1: Pour milk and apple cider vinegar in blender and add frozen okra. To avoid your okra getting slimy blend these three ingredients right away until no green bits show.

Step 2: Add peanut butter powder, sweetener, peeled oranges and frozen strawberries. Blend until smooth.

Step 3: Add Protein Powder. We add this at the very end because if you blend whey protein powder for too long you smoothie double in volume because the more you blend whey protein powder it because very fluffy and foamy, doubling the size of your smoothie. If you like that consistency blend you protein powder as long as you wish.

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Encouragement from the Studio: God’s great love

As I look back across 2017 and reflect on all that God has done this year, I am amazed. There were lots of ups and downs throughout the year, but today I am rejoicing in how God has brought my husband Michael and I through 2017 to head into a new year together.

We didn’t have any major life changing events in 2017, but can I still look back and see God’s hand on everything that happened last year.

About this time last year we were living in a rental house that was put up for sale, Michael’s overtime at work was practically nonexistent and we were told if we wanted to stay in our house that the rent would be increased. This news added to the stress of the holidays by 100%! There was nothing we could do except look for a new rental house.

So we started the search and we looked and we looked and we looked, we were beginning to give up hope that we were ever going to find a place we could afford and we started making a plan to live in the apartment above my parent’s garage and in our travel trailer. Not ideal to say the least! Then all of the sudden, when were about to give up hope, there it was listed for a rent, a small but doable duplex in a country setting! It was perfect and God provided it at the perfect time and the perfect price.

As I look back though I remember feeling unsure of what was going to happen. I questioned everything and everyone, I didn’t think we were going to find a place to live; I couldn’t trust that God would provide. The truth is, I still see that same pattern in me today, but why? When time and time again I can see where God has provided exactly what we needed when we needed it! Why can’t I trust him with the unknown, instead of waiting to trust him after the fact?

I don’t know that I have the answer to this question. I just know that this is something I struggle with and that I want to work on throughout next year.

This morning God brought this verse to my attention from Lamentations 3:22. Its says, “Because of the LORD’S GREAT LOVE (emphasis mine), we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They (his compassions) are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

God continues to love us even when we doubt Him, even when we don’t trust Him. We don’t have to wait for a new year to embrace his compassion and love! Its there for us each and every morning, each and every day of each and every year for the rest of our lives! He loves us, he wants what is best for us and he accepts us just as we are.

So as we head into 2018, why not embrace God’s compassion each morning and live life like his promises claim we can? There is no reason for us to be consumed by our doubts, because his love never fails us. He is there each day just waiting for us to run to him and let him embrace us. He is faithful, lets live 2018 in the light of his faithfulness!

How has God been faithful to you this year? I would love to know. What can you use prayer for this year? Leave a comment below and I will be praying for you. I truly believe God blesses us when we walk through life together by praying for and sharing our prayer requests with one another.

Happy New Year! May God’s faithfulness exceed your wildest dreams this year!