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Chicken Fajita Scramble

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I worked at IHOP for 3 years and one of my favorite things to eat was their Chicken Fajita Omelette. Delicious fluffy egg omelette filled with green peppers and chicken, topped with melted cheese, salsa and sour cream. Served with a side of toast….yummy but naughty. Awhile ago, I decided to recreate this recipe at home when I no longer worked at IHOP but was having a hankering.

Not only is this dish DELICIOUS…like it is seriously good, it is simple to make and low carb! It has become my go to after workout meal. Full of protein and low in carbs, it fuels my muscles and keeps me burning that stubborn fat!

So…in my attempt to make this, I forwent the omelette form and instead made a scramble. I don’t have time to make omelettes in the morning…no time for standing around waiting for one side to cook, then carefully flipping…I am all about quick and delicious meals that don’t take a lot of time or crazy ingredients. BUT if you have the time and prefer, turn this baby into an omelette!

To make this yumminess, first you need to get a pan on the stove heating up with some oil in it. I use coconut oil because I am avid coconut oil user, I’m talking 6-7 years ago I started using this stuff, before it was all the rage, and I still stand by it! Now that your pan is warming dice up some green pepper. I use a 1/2 green pepper for a single serving and a whole green pepper for 2 servings. Throw those beautiful green babies in the pan and let them saute a bit while you mix up your eggs!

IHOP’s omelettes were made with the equivalent of 3 eggs, so that is what I user per serving. So crack open 3 eggs (or 6 if you are serving two people) and put in a bowl. Now I like to add some chili seasoning…no measurements just a few shakes of the container. Add a pinch of salt, and a dash  or two of  black pepper! Now mix up your eggs with a fork or whisk and pour egg mixture into pan with green peppers.

Now you just cook until they are light and fluffy! Once my eggs are done cooking I add in my pre-cooked chicken and stir around a bit to let the chicken warm up. (Note, if you don’t have precooked chicken like I do, then you would wan’t to cook your chicken before you cooked your peppers. I have done this before, I just cook one chicken breast for 2 servings, cut it up and saute it in the pan. Once chicken is cooked just continue recipe as above in the same pan as the chicken.) Usually it just takes 1-2 minutes in the pan for my chicken to warm up. Turn the stove off and top eggs with shredded cheddar and let sit for a second while it melts.

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Now it is time to  put on the yummy toppings! Once on the plate, I like to top mine with salsa and sour cream, but feel free to get creative with it! And there you have it folks! A Delicious, easy  and Low-Carb breakfast! (Or lunch or dinner, who am I to restrict your dietary habits! )

Thank you for checking this out! Happy eating!

-Cherri

 

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Chicken Fajita Scramble

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1/2 diced green pepper

1/2 chicken breast (or equivalent)

2-3 dashes Chili Powder

2-3 dashes of black pepper

1-2 pinches of salt

1 tbls of coconut oil (for pan)

Toppings:

1/4 cup of shredded cheddar (feel free to use less or more)

1-2 tbls salsa (preferably on low in sugar)

1-2 tbsl sour cream

 

Directions:

Put coconut oil in pan and turn pan to medium heat and let warm up. Dice green pepper and place in warmed pan. While green pepper is sauteing, crack three eggs and mix in bowl with chili powder, black pepper and salt. Next pour eggs into pan with green pepper. Cook until eggs are cooked, light and fluffy. Now add in pre-cooked chicken and cook another 1-2 minutes so chicken can warm. Turn off heat and add cheddar cheese to top of eggs, allow to melt for a minute. Serve on a plate and top with sour cream and salsa. Now you are ready to serve! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Low-Carb Peanut Butter Protein Cream Cheese Balls

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Recently I shared with the world one of my first baking creations, the Low Carb Pumpkin Dump Cake, a simple, yet little more complex treat. I thought that I would share a much more simple, and delicious recipe with you today. This recipe just kind of happened for me and it has stuck! Not only is it SOOOOO easy it is even MORE delicious! Think peanut butter cheesecake….yum yum yum!

My husband and I started working out the beginning of February and were doing a lot of weight training along with cardio. We needed a good source of protein for our snacks to help keep our muscles fueled. I wanted to stay in an anabolic state burning as much body fat as I could, so I knew I had to keep it low-carb, with a protein packed punch.

We love peanut butter, and it is a great source of protein, but I don’t always just want a scoop of peanut butter. So I put my thinking cap on and I grabbed some all natural peanut butter, my Quest peanut butter protein, some cream cheese, almond flour and some stevia. And thus was born my Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Protein Ball.

The first time I made this I kinda just winged it, but have since fine-tuned the recipe so that I have a  consistently delicious treat. This recipe is my go to, I make it once every week, sometimes I double batch it, that way I have enough to last me through out the week. This is also perfect for this sweet tooth cravings we all get!

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So to get started you will want to set out 1 box of cream cheese (I used Traders Joes Light Cream Cheese for this particular time, but I have used full fat cream cheese and also 1/3 less fat cream cheese  in the past, I think it is really just a personal preference, or whatever is on hand!) Let your cream cheese soften a bit on the counter, or if you are in a hurry nuke it for 15-30 seconds.

Next you add all your other ingredients! The peanut butter, almond flour, protein ( I use Quest Peanut Butter for that extra peanut buttery kick, but you can you use any protein of your choice) , stevia (or sweetener of choice) and cream. Then mix with a spoon until thoroughly mixed.

You should have a soft dough like mixture. Now grab some dough and roll around in your hand until you have a ball shape. Place in a bowl or Tupperware and keep on rolln’ til the dough is gone. I usually get about 12-13 balls out of a single batch. Now that they are rolled they are ready to be served and eaten or chilled for later!

With the ingredients I used, these little balls of yumminess average about 5 grams of protein and 2.25 grams of carbs per ball. So you could safely have 2-3 in one period. So snack away friends and enjoy!

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Thanks for taking the time to check this recipe out, let me know how you like them!

Until next time,

Cherri

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Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Balls

Ingredients:

1 package cream cheese (I use light or 1/3 fat, but you can use full fat)

1/4 cup of ground almond flour

1 scoop of protein (I used Quest Peanut Butter Protein) **Note, Quest protien has a sweet taste (not sugar) and if you use a different protein, you may need to add just a bit more stevia/sweetner, Id start with the recommended quanitity and add mote of desired***

1/4 cup of all natural peanut butter

2 tbls of stevia blend ( I use the Pyure brand, NOT ground)

2 tbls of heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Place cream cheese in bowl, once softened add all other ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are evenly combined. Grab dough and roll into apx 1-2 inch balls. Place in bowl or container and chill or serve. Recipe yields apx 12-13 balls. 1 ball averages apx. 5 grams of protein and 2.25 grams of carbs.

 

Low-Carb Pumpkin Dump Cake

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I have seen the pumpkin dump cake recipe floating around on Facebook and it brought back some delicious memories! My mother made this one year and of course, me being the pumpkin lover that I am, absolutely loved it! Because it became a favorite, my mom would make it for me on my Birthday sometimes rather than a traditional cake.

With fall in the air and pumpkin season right around the corner, I decided I would attempt to Low Carb-ify this delicious treat! The journey of re-creating a recipe was a new one for me. I am more of a sensual cooker, as in, I use my senses to guide me, I have never been much of a recipe follower/creator ya know….I like to throw this in, add this add that, all the while tasting until it is just perfect. WELL with baking ya can’t exactly do that, but I had a good feeling about this one, after all, it is a simple recipe, so it couldn’t be too hard right?

I did hit a couple bumps in the road, but for the most part, I think I came up with a pretty good recipe. I won’t lie and say it as good as the original, because come on, once you have had the real deal, there is no comparing…but I’d say its a really good sugar free substitute. It is sweet, full of pumpkin/fall flavor and buttery…it is a great blend of salty and sweet!

First off I had to create a dry ‘cake mix’ to replace the traditional yellow box cake. So I did a  bit of research and  a little thinking and came up with a ratio. I used THM baking blend,   ground almond flour, pristine whey protein,  finely ground Stevie, and baking powder. A box of cake mix generally has 18.25 ounce in it, which is apx. 2 1/3 cups. I knew that I wanted to stay in that area of dry ingredients, as to not overwhelm the wet ingredients. This combo create a nice fluffy and light dry ‘cake mix’ that was perfect for sprinkling over the pumpkin.

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If you do not have THM baking blend, I would suggest using the equivalent measurement but with either/or  coconut flour, a little more almond flour, ground up whole grain oats (try to keep under 1/4 cup), oat fiber,  or ground golden flax meal-you could even mix a little of a couple of these together to create your own baking blend. Disclaimer, I have not tried this specific recipe without THM baking blend, but in my experience, if you replace with similar ingredients in similar quantities you should be good to go!

On to the pumpkin base! This is where I hit a bit of a snaphoo, I bought a 30 ounce jar of pumpkin for this recipe. It wasn’t til that sucker was open and in a bowl that I realized that it was already sweetened with sugar. Being as it was 11 pm in the evening, I wen’t with it, knowing that this was just a test recipe. What I would have done, had the pumpkin not been sweetened, was use a non sugar sweetener to the equivalent of 1 cup of sugar, which is what the original recipe calls for. My original plan was to use 6 TBLS of THM gentle sweet and 1-3 doonks (1/32 tsp)  of Pure Stevie Extract, depending on the sweetness level desired. I truly don’t think that using unsweetened pumpkin with a non sugar sweetener would effect the texture too much in this recipe, if anything I think it would help the pumpkin base thicken a bit better, so yours might turn out even better then mine!

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So pumpkin in bowl, already sweetened,  it was time to keep trudging  on. I decided to replace the evaporated milk with  heavy whipping cream and  I added a teaspoon of glucomannan to add some thickness. Then I put the three eggs in, mixed that sucker up and poured into a lightly greases baking pan.

Next I spooned/sprinkled the dry ingredients evenly over the top of the pumpkin base. Then it was time to bring on the butter! Next you melt your butter and then pour over/drizzle  over the top of the dry mix. No you are ready to put that bad boy in the oven for about 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

So once this puppy cooled, I had a piece and it was really good, full of pumpkin-y deliciousness. The buttery crust was not to sweet , not too dry and a really good texture, and the pumpkin base as yummy as pie with a good texture as well. I would have liked it a little firmer, but it wasn’t runny and kept its form.  Like I said earlier, it is not quite as amazing as the original (but most low carb alternatives arent) but it was a very yummy, satisiftying and good sugar free, low carb pumpkin dessert to satisfy those sweet fall cravings.  I will definitely make it again! PS, it is just as good served chilled as it is served warm!

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I have posted my recipe below! Please message me or comment if you have any questions/concerns!

Thanks and God Bless,

-Cherri G.

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Low-Carb Pumpkin Dump Cake:

Dry “Cake Mix”:

2/3 cup THM Baking Blend (or equivalent low-carb flour mixture)

1/3 cup ground Almond Flour

1/3 cup finely ground (powdered) stevia  (the stevia I used was Pyure, and I had already ground in coffee grinder before measuring out 1/3 cup, if you do  not grind, you will want to adjust your measurement as 1/3 cup of unground stevia would be a lot sweeter **you could also sub gentle sweet**)

2 scoops THM Pristine Whey Protein Powder

2 tsp baking powder

Pumpkin Base:

29-30 ounce can of pumpkin

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 tsp glucomannan ( you could also use xanthan gum)

3 tsp Pumpkin Spice Seasoning  ( adjust to taste preference)

6 TBLS of THM gentle sweet ( Or 6 TBLS of a stevia blend like Pyure)

1-3 doonks (1/32 tsp) of Pure Stevia Extract ( Sweeten to taste)

3/4 cups of butter (1 1/2 sticks)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients (cake mix) together in a bowl and set aside. Next mix you pumpkin, cream , pumpkin spice, glucomannan, and gentle sweet (stevia blend) together… before adding your pure stevia extract I would suggest tasting you batter to determine you desire sweetness, then add the pure stevia extract  as desired. Next beat in your eggs until your batter is mixed thoroughly.  Pour batter into lightly greased cake pan ( my pan is like 13″ by 9″). Next spoon/sprinkle the dry ingredients over the top of the pumpkin. Now place your butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat until melted. Lastly pour the butter over the top of the dry ingredients. Place pan in oven and bake for apx 40-45 minutes until gold brown. Serve warm or chilled. **I would suggest keeping refrigerated after serving**

I Can’t Believe Its Not Bread!

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Sometimes living in a low-carb world is just plain discouraging. I mean if you are anything like me, or Oprah, then you also LOVE bread. Who is with me?? I love all sorts of bread from handmade freshly baked dinner rolls to a delicious pizza crust. Unfortunately, bread doesn’t love me back! Instead it wages war on  my hips thighs  and  leaves its mark.

So alas, I am trying to live in a world filled with THM meals that are either low in carbs, or filled with healthy and natural carbs, like brown rice and broccoli. As you can imagine, and I am sure some of you very well know, there are days when you just want a big slice of pizza. Or a juicy hotdog on a bun. WELL, I have found the solution, yes I have found the golden, life changing recipe that satisfies the bread loving monster within.

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a Low Carb Everything Bagel Dog recipe (which is a spin off of a dough recipe called Fat Head Dough.) The picture looked good, I had all the ingredients on hand, I thought, ya lets give it a try. I wasn’t sure if I would be blown away, for I have tried many recipes over the past year that have left me with much to be desired. But this delicious dough did not disappoint! It is like a melt in your mouth soft chewy crescent roll! Of course, after making this recipe I started thinking of all the other possibilities I had with this dough! I could make cinnamon rolls, pastries, pizza’s and so much more!

Well I have taken the bagel dog dough/fat head dough recipe (I do not know who the original creator of the Fat Head dough was, but the dough recipe is not my own creation) and turned it into a pizza pocket if you will! You know those delicious soft baked pizza rolls from Pizza Hut? Flaky crust on the outside, melted oooey gooey cheese and pepperoni on the inside, dipped in a robust pizza sauce?? Ya its kinda like that.

This dough is made out of almond flour, xanthan gum, egg, mozzarella cheese and cream cheese. Crazy right? I guess it’s a thing to make low carb bread with cheese, whoever happened upon this is a creative genius! First you put your dry ingredients in a bowl (the almond flour and xanthan gum) and then add 1 egg, or 2 if you are doubling the recipe. Use a fork or spoon to stir together until you have a thick paste/dough. Then set aside for the time being.

Next you will put your mozzarella cheese and cream cheese into a microwave safe bowl. Note, I lightly spray my bowl with non stick spray, as the melted cheese can get a bit sticky. Then place in microwave for apx. 1 ½ minutes, or until all cheese is melted. I doubled the recipe that is pictured below, and since there was more cheese I cooked for an extra 30 seconds. Once out of the microwave stir it all together. Stir baby stir!

Now you mix your almond flour dough with the melted cheese and start kneading! You want to do you best to have an even consistent dough, although I will say, in my attempts I have never gotten the dough to be completely one color, but I have gotten close! You could use a spatula or spoon to knead mix, but I feel I have better progress with my hands. So knead knead for a several minutes until you are happy with the consistency and color of your dough.

Then separate into 4 balls, or 8 if you doubled. On parchment paper begin to stretch and roll your dough, again I use my hands here, until you have a flattened even dough about 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Now start filling! In the picture below I used pepperoni and mozzarella string cheese, but I in the past I have used shredded mozzarella cheese and even shredded cheddar. This is where you get to be creative! Mix it up! Put whatever toppings or cheese you want in there! You could do ham and cheddar, mushroom and sausage, Canadian bacon and pineapple, pepperoni and olives, or a veggie lovers,  fill to your hearts content!

Now that those bad boys are filled, lightly egg wash them and top with desired seasoning. I love Lawry’s Garlic Salt on top of mine! Then pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. When you get them out of the oven you should have a beautiful golden crust with bubbly goodness in the center!

 

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There you have it folks! A delicious and low carb pizza pocket! These are great for appetizers or as a meal! I like to double my batch and prepare enough to take for lunch during the busy work week. Pair them with a yummy salad and you have a balanced meal.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I would love to hear how it went for you if you give it a try!

 

As always, much love and God Bless!

-Cherri G.

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LOW CARB PIZZA POCKET

Dough: (disclaimer :not my own original recipe)

3/4 cups of almond flour

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

2 eggs (one for dough, one for egg wash)

1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella

2 tbs of cream cheese

Filling:

Whatever you want!

I used:

5-6 pepperonis

1/2 mozzarella string cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Mix almond flour and xanthan gum with 1 egg together until dough like. Meanwhile, place mozzarella cheese and cream cheese in microwave safe bowl and microwave for apx 1 1/2 minutes, make sure all cheese is melted. Stir your melted cheese and then add to your almond flour dough. Mix/knead for 3-5 minutes until you have a even and consistent dough. Separate into 4-6 balls and then flatten and roll to desired size on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then fill with whatever ingredients (cooked) that you desire! Close and seal the filling by bring the edges of dough together and on all edges. Once all your pockets are sealed, use the egg wash to lightly glaze the tops of the pockets. Lastly sprinkle seasoning or herbs of your choice on top. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Your pockets should be a beautiful golden brown! Bon Appetite!

 

All Glory Be to Christ.

 

 

“Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!”

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You know those moments that change everything. The moments of stillness when you experience something great, some profound nugget of wisdom, some earth shattering movement of the spirit that touches so deeply within your soul…..this verse does that to me.

When I listen to the song All Glory Be to Christ something happens inside of me. The worship I experience is more intense, more fluid, more real then I have known. I can’t help but stand in complete and total Awe of our God. I just want to shout it at the top of a mountain…YESSSS ALL GLORY BE TO CHRIST!!!!

THAT…….that is what it is all about. That one sentence sums up my entire purpose for living. I don’t want to breathe unless it brings glory to my God, I don’t want to live if it has no meaning….I don’t want to exist just to exist….my life’s purpose is to Glorify the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD!

I mean, what are we doing?? What are we doing and why are we doing it if we aren’t doing it for the Kingdom of God? My friends it is far to easy to get wrapped up in the world. You spend your first years growing your education so you can get a job. You get a job then go to work, to pay for the box you live in, to buy food to eat. After you buy the food you make the food only to have to then clean the dishes you used to prepare the food. You keep a clean house, only for it to get dirty again. You work overtime to afford that nice car you drive, but only use it to drive to and from work. You work and you work to earn more money, but do you ever get rich or do your bills just grow?

Far to many people live in this tedious pattern with this monotone rhythm. Their searching never ends, their yearning never ceases, their lust and desires increase and their idols grow in numbers.

You know what else grows? The distance between them and God. As the distance grows, so does the pain and despair, the shame and lies, the greed and envy, the sorrow and depression. All they want is to be happy…but they are looking for Joy in all the wrong places.

I will ask again…WHAT ARE WE DOING? ……what are we doing. My heart aches as I ask this question because I just want people to GET IT, to WAKE UP!

We were created to be in a living relationship with a Living God…..without him, we are nothing. Without him we are broken…empty and shallow.

I have seen darkness, in fact I am far to familiar with it. I have known loneliness…the kind that burrows a deep dark spot in your soul that breaks your very core. I have yearned for a love that heals, I have sought out affection in all the wrong things.  I have tried to fill the void with anything and everything, and I can tell you from personal experience, that no man, no job, no amount of money, no substances….nothing can fill the void….only GOD can fill it. Because that void that people feel is the absence of God in their life.

I have known God for a long time, but I haven’t always loved him. To many times I let myself get distracted. I started living for myself and my personal gain. But it was all for naught, all in vain….I don’t ever want to be in that valley again. No sir….I want to live for Christ…I want to live to build his Kingdom, not my own.

Let me post these verses again….

“Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!”

….Do you get it? Why this means so much to me? There is profound wisdom in these words people!! MAN it just moves me and sets my soul on fire for Jesus!  GOD BREAK ME APART! I pray we all learn to die to ourselves and live for you. We are NOTHING with out you. Don’t let us exist just to exist, mold us, edify us, shape us, sanctify us….create in us something new, something that brings Glory to You!

All Glory Be to Christ!

AMEN!

Here is the link to this song I keep speaking of! CHECK IT OUT! FOR REAL!

 

 

 

THM

Today I would like to share with you about THM (or Trim Healthy Mama).  This is a  meal plan that my family has had a lot of success with, in fact, many many woman and men have had a lot of success with it.

 

I have always been reluctant to get completely on board with this plan, reasons being that I felt it took a lot more time and preparation then my traditional cooking and could be costly.  I have dabbled in it, dipped my toe in to the water but have never completely been committed.

Well for the past couple weeks as I have drawn nearer to the Lord, I have felt him putting THM on my heart. You see, not only do I struggle with my weight, but lately  I have been struggling with extreme fatigue, hair loss and emotional highs and lows. As I sought God in prayer over these issues I kept feeling in my heart to submit to him and get on board with THM. Finally this week I did just that, I said OK God lets do it…and I am super excited to get on board and see some amazing results! As you can see below my cat is pretty stoked as well! Haha, silly cat jumped in my picture, and it was too cute not to share!

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So, let me tell you a little about Trim Healthy Mama. First off, I am not crazy about the name, haha cuz we aren’t all mama’s, but it was created my two sisters who are indeed mothers. Serene and Pearl were tired of following the same old fads and done with listening to the world when it comes to diet and nutrition. From what I have read, they never were over weight, in fact, I believe Serene was a vegan, so they weren’t looking for a fad diet, but they were looking for healthy. Not including all food groups was leaving them malnourished.

They began seeking God and reading scriptures to discover what he intended for us to eat. They determined that God did in fact want us eating all the things he has created, from greens to natural fats to red meat. So they began eating all God had to offer, the fruits, the vegetables, the meats, the dairy, the  healthy fats….but soon it began to effect their waste line. So, they returned to the drawing board and started doing some research and THM is the result.

In THM you separate your meals into 3 basic categories, E (energizing) and S (Satisfying) and FP (Fuel Pull). An E meal is a meal that is founded on healthy carbs, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes or whole grain oats, mixed with a lean protein source. An E meal is to have up to 45 grams of Carbs and less then 5 grams of Fat. A S meal is the opposite, it is your traditional low carb meal. With an S meal you can indulge in healthy fats such as dairy, nuts and meats. With an S meal you are to have less then 10 grams of carbs per meal. A FP meal is a combo of both, less then 5 grams of fat and less then 10 grams of carbs. (When you have no more weight to loose you incorporate cross overs and s helpers into your meals).

So essentially the idea is that you have carbs, and you can have fats, but you separate them! The concept is that your body can only burn one fuel at a time, carbs or fats, and when you have a meal with both, one gets stored while one acts as an energy source, which leads to weight gain.

As I have said I have dabbled in this plan before and seen some success, but have never stuck to it long term to have claim victory. I am hoping to change that! This plan, has a lot more to offer then weight loss, it offers health. There are many recipes that include super foods that have so many healthy benefits!

For example, they have a drink called Good Girl Moon Shine or GGMS (no there is no alcohol in this!). This drink is an all day sipper that uses lemon, stevia, ginger and apple cider vinegar to give you a refreshing boost! I have been drinking this daily for the past week and already am reaping the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV). I am snacking less and my cravings have significantly decreased. Also my stomach just feels better, less bloated and blah!

Have you ever looked into what all it does for your health?? Its amazing! For starters, because of the peptides in it, it helps to curb your appetite! It also has many other wonderful benefits such as lowering blood pressure, detoxing the body, reducing acid re-flux, fights cancer, fights colds, cures candida, and the list goes on!

Another awesome ingredient used in THM is Collagen. I have yet to use this one but am super excited to try it out! I just received it in the mail today! I have read over the wonderful benefits it has as well, such as helping with joint pain and arthritis, aiding in skin and hair health, and just in general health and wellness, and I am super excited to see the changes it will make in my health!

The list goes on and on my friends. THM has so much more to offer then just another diet, so much more then weight loss…..it is a lifestyle the offers freedom…freedom from the shame, from the guilt, from the fads, from the diets, and from sickness. I am almost more excited about finding wellness then I am in losing weight, but then again, losing the weight will most definitely  aid in my over all wellness!

I can’t wait to share my testimonies and recipes with you as I embark on this journey! Lot of low carb goodness coming your way ya’ll!

If you have any questions about THM, I would love to do my best to share/answer to the best of my ability.So hit me up, don’t be shy!

Well until next time! Be blessed my friends!

-Cherri

 

 

The story I don’t like to tell.

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We all have parts of our stories that are hard for us to share. Secrets that are safe and sound locked deep down inside. The parts of our lives that make us feel vulnerable and ashamed.

But….

those stories, those scars have molded us and shaped us into who we are today, the good that bad and the ugly.

It is easy to introduce the good to people, and maybe they even get a glimpse of the bad…but the ugly…no way, we keep that hidden, locked in the closet to deal with alone.

I believe there is freedom in opening that door, letting people peer into the depths of your soul and see who you truly are, inside and out.

Here is a glimpse…here is a flash, of what it is like to be me….

During the ages 5-7, my mother started using drugs. Her addiction consumed her over these years. I remember living in this rundown attic apartment in a sketchy neighbor hood….surrounded by the broken and miserable.

Often I would find myself alone. Completely alone. I remember one night waking up because I felt ill, it was the middle of the night, and I got up to wake her, and she was gone. I just sat in the middle of the dark living room and I cried. I was scared, and I was alone.

Another time I walked into the living room and saw my mother screaming and talking to a blank tv. I don’t know what she saw….but I know what I saw scared me. I remember one night I walked across the street to use the pay phone, alone, at night when my mom was passed out. The building with a phone was a bar I believe, at the time I didn’t really understand that. As I was using the phone I remember all these men coming out of the bar. I got nervous as one started towards me. I quickly turned away and headed back to our apartment. But he still followed. He was saying something but I could not hear. He was still following, so I started to run. I made it to our door…I locked the door and headed up the stairs. I ran to wake my mother as I was in a frantic hysterical state. I begin to tell her what happened and I dont remember why, but she headed to the kitchen (which was at the top of the stair entrance) and there was the man. Standing in our kitchen.

It is a moment that is frozen in my mind. All I remember next is that my mother was able to get him to leave, and she attempted to lock the door, but I guess it was broken because he came back in. Finally he went away. But the memory..it has never left.

We lived in another apartment at one point in these two years….across the hall was a man that my mom would leave me with to babysit me. This man became my best friend, he was so much fun. He played games with me, he bought me toys…I had a blast with him. At some point he moved across the street into a different apartment or building, and my mother would still take me to his home for him to babysit me.

The nature of the relationship changed. He began to abuse me. He would tell me not to tell my mother, and then after would buy me toys. At the time, I was confused. I didn’t really understand what was happening, but I liked the toys.Eventually I began to tell my mother , and for a while she didn’t believe me. She thought people were putting bad ideas in my head.

But I remember one day, we were in the car with my aunt, and I had spoken up about it again, and my aunt said something along the lines as why would she make that up? After that I stopped going to this mans house. It was over.

Next I remember living in a house. I don’t have many memories of this place, but I have a few. I remember finding the beer my mom had hidden in her closet and pouring it down the sink. I remember she was mad. I remember taking care of my little brother and helping her with him. I remember I had a bedroom that my mom was trying to decorate for me. She got me this pink and white horse on a carousal, It was something I treasured for many years.

Shortly after living in this house we were staying in this condo with my younger brothers father. I remember waking up on night because I heard fighting, I came down half way on the steps and I remember sitting on them staring through the railing crying as I saw this man beating and fighting with my mom. Next thing I knew the cops were there. I don’t really remember what happened next.

While we were living in this condo,  one night my mom left my with the next door neighbor , who was her friend…my mom had went out or something. I guess this lady she left me with and her husband had some king of fight and the cops were called again. I was sleeping on the couch and I remember the cops waking me up.

They asked me where my mom was and I said I didn’t know. Then I will never forget this….they told me that the lady watching me told them that a man had abused me and they wanted to know if this was true. I guess my mom had told her. I remember crying and not knowing what to say. The lady kept saying just tell them the truth, just tell them. So I told them.

Next thing I know I was in the back of a police car, unsure of what was happening. That moment is another moment frozen in my mind. The darkness of the night, the flashing lights of the police car…looking back at the house I had just been taken from and not knowing what was going to happen next. I was seven years old when I got taken away, I was seven years old when my life got turn upside down.

I was taken to a children’s home that night. That night I slept on a cot in this huge room with glass pane walls.I remember laying there in the dark. I remember that fear. I remember that pain. I remember the confusion.

So basically after the children’s home I went to live with my grandmother, but she then sent me to live with my grandfather. (they were divorced). Then he sent me to live with the babysitters across the street, then I went to a foster home, then I went to live with my aunt who was going to adopt me, the adoption was close to final stages, but then she sent me back to live with my mom….somehow the courts found out…and again I found myself in a foster home.

I felt, unwanted, unworthy for so long. I felt a burden to everyone. All I wanted was love…all I wanted was a family that was whole. All I wanted was to belong.

So the last foster home I went to actually became the family that adopted me. As much as it scares me to be honest about this….I must be.

The family I was adopted into is a great one, a family that loves the Lord, a family that introduced me to the Lord. A family that gave me a home and offered me a future. But it wasn’t always easy. I had a lot of hurt in me….and I am not sure they ever understood completely. We had a lot of disagreements and misunderstandings. My eagerness to be apart often was received as being a burden. I never really felt like I connected with my adoptive parents when I was living with them. I loved them, and I know they loved me in their way…but it was different then what I had always imagined. I didn’t understand their way of loving at that time, and at the same time, I don’t think they understood just how deep my pain and desire/need for love went. You could say our love languages were different. As I have gotten older I have learned to understand and appreciate their love and sacrifice, and our relationship has grown tremendously! I am forever thankful for them and my respect grows for them all the time.

But at  the time when  I was 18, I was so full of pain and resentment that I pushed them away as I pulled away. I moved out before I graduated and made a mess of my life.I began smoking marijuana, I got involved in a relationship with an older man who was no good for me and had a drug addiction. At one point, the summer after graduation, I even ended up in jail for 3 days.

I went to college….alone and miserable. I numbed the pain with substances. Eventually in the year I got depressed and stopped going to classes, or if I did, I was failing them. One day I was in my dorm….I remember just screaming at God….screaming at him….that there was no way he existed…no way…because if so where was he? Were has he been? How could he have given me this life…this brokenness?

Over the next year I had a lot of ups and downs. I went into a deep suicidal depression for a period…but found my way out of that by the grace of God. I ended up failing out of my first year of college and got a waitressing job and got my own apartment. My life consisted of working, and smoking to numb that pain.

I was completely and totally numb. Until one day God revealed himself to me.

I met a man named Will who changed my life. He was a new coworker of mine, an elderly black man. He was so nice and such a kind soul and he always carried his trumpet with him. One of the first days I worked with him he asked me for a ride home. I was hesitant. But I agreed. As I gave him a ride home…he started praying for me….at first I was freaked out. But then…..I felt something. I felt the presence of God. He started speaking to me as if he knew me. He was telling me that I was loved, I was treasured and I was not alone. He started sharing how much God love me. I truly believe God was speaking to me through this man.

I remember I was just sobbing. He had me pull over at this park. He continued to pray and give me words of encouragement. I remember him telling me that he carried his trumpet with him, so that he could play it when Jesus came back. We wrapped up our conversation as I wiped my tears, I offered to continue driving him home. He said his home was across the street, as he pointed to a homeless shelter. He said he couldn’t get in until 5, so he liked to wait at this park. I remember this moment….the overwhelming feeling I encountered.

This man….yes this man had nothing, nothing except the clothes on his back and his trumpet…yet he had everything…yes he had everything because he had the love and joy of God.

I went home and opened my dusty bible…I opened up to Jeremiah 29:11….I had never read this verse. NEVER. It reads…. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

After that, everything changed. My life was completely and utterly and forever changed. I knew a love that I had never known, I found the home I had always longed for, I found a peace…I found a joy. I found freedom. Freedom from the pain, from the shame, from the guilt, from the hurt, from the numbness. I was awake, and my soul was free.

Since the day I found God, I have had many ups and downs. I have seen many valleys and many hills my friends. It has not always been easy, and It never will be. At times the pain and scars flare up, but God is always there to remind me that I am not alone, and that he is enough. His love is all I need…his love heals. His love frees. His love gives me new life.

Although I have many scars….they are mine. My story has shaped me into the person that I am today….and the person I am today is beautifully flawed, and completely and utterly broken and humbled at the feet of Jesus.

I hope by sharing this story, you are encouraged…that no matter our trials, no matter our past…not matter the burden, no matter how great the pain….there is hope. HOPE for a future…hope for redemption, hope for a everlasting kind of love…hope for freedom from you affliction, freedom from your bondage. Yes in God there is all these things, freedom, love and hope.

God Bless.

-Cherri

 

 

 

Sunshine Smoothie

What a beautiful day/week it has been.

God’s beauty and extravagance has been inspiring and burning within me lately. He has shown me a depth of Grace and Love that words cannot even describe! God is GOOD!

So this Sunday evening as I reflect on this past week, I am excited for all of the spiritual gains I have made, but I know that I have not exactly been focused as much on the physical side of things. SO, this week I am going to try and incorporate some healthier habits back into my life!

We are looking forward to getting back into a routine at the gym! We have lost some of our strength and endurance and look forward to moving and grooving again.

With that, of course we want to incorporate healthy eating habits again, which means starting our morning with a healthy, energizing boost!

Have you guys ever had a Sunshine Smoothie from Sonic?? OH MY they are yummmmmmm. They are basically a smoothie-ish drink made with banana, orange juice, strawberry and ice cream! Delicious, but full of added sugar! Well, I created my own littler version of a healthier sunshine smoothie that is just as good (if not better) and much healthier!

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This smoothie blends ice with mouth watering fresh fruit  like strawberries, banana, peaches and blueberries! Thank you Lord for all these wonderful treasures you have blessed us with! Also I use Greek yogurt and unsweetened almond milk to create a smooth, refreshing and fueling morning drink!

If you don’t like peaches, you can totally use an orange, but since peaches are in season, and the texture is great in a smoothie, not to mention…that smell (Who else loves the smell of peaches!!)…they are what I have been using! TIP: I peel my peaches….if you leave the peel on it gives it a different texture that, to me, is not as pleasing!

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Another tidbit of advice, use only a half of a banana per serving. So if Matt and I are both having the smoothie I use a whole banana, however if it is just for me, a half of a banana it is! This is because bananas have a lot of natural sugars and carbs, and we want to cut down on that sugar!

Use whatever kind of yogurt that pleases you! I personally us Okios Triple Zero Greek Yogurt,my favorite is the peach flavor. This yogurt has NO added sugar! So it is a friend of mine! I also choose to use unsweetened almond milk.  SO now you got all your ingredients in the blender….and now you turn that bad boy on and let it work its magic!

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You’d be surprised at how naturally sweet this smoothie is! It is the perfect combinations of sweet, tart and refreshing! This is so good that you don’t have to limit it to breakfast! It would make a great snack or dessert option as well! Also, go crazy with it, make it your own! Use your favorite fruits and find your perfect blend!

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Well, I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do and I pray you have a blessed week, full of goodness, fullness and health! Until next time friends!

-Cherri

Recipe:

Ingredients:

6-8 Ice Cubes

5-6 strawberries

1 fresh peach

1 banana

1/4 cup of blueberries

1/2 cup (apx.)  of unsweetened almond milk

1 container of Okios Triple Zero Greek Yogurt (I use the peach, but use any flavor you want!)

Throw it all in a blender and blend until smooth! This recipe makes two small/medium-ish servings. This is perfect for me and my husband, but you could always double if you want either larger or more servings. Enjoy!

 

Faith Without Works

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“What good is it, my brothers, if man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is with out clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs what good is it? In the same way , faith by itself if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” -James 2:14-17

“I am a Christian.”

You have heard it said before, and you will hear it said again. But does that even mean anything anymore? When you hear these words what do you think of the person who speaks them? Do you think…’okay ya..your a “christian” ‘, or do you think ‘oh so your one of the hypocrites I see on TV shaming anyone who is different then you.”

Sad isn’t it? That the word Christian comes with such negative connotations these days. Why is that? What have we done…or rather what have we NOT done to get here.

I am a strong believer that you don’t even have to utter Gods name to share his love. Although, I am not ashamed to speak of Jesus the Lord, I do feel like sometimes those words can be intimidating to some who do not believe or are skeptics. BUT that is OK because if Jesus is working through you, it will be known. Your light will shine, your love will be felt.

Maybe it will be through a selfless gesture, a thoughtful gift, a kind word, maybe even an intimate hug or embrace. Bottom line…if Jesus is living in you…he will work through you..every day and in every way.

So back to our original thought, why is it that in this day and age so many of the broken and hurting are turned off by Christianity?

Do you think perhaps its because we talk the talk but don’t walk the walk?

FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD!!!

The answer is right there in James….your faith or proclamation of faith means absolutely nothing if you do not do anything with it!

It is not enough to speak kind words and blessings if we are not willing to act in love. In the scripture above it speaks of someone being without clothes and food….lets relate that to our real life today. Lets say you are walking out of a store and see a man who is homeless and begging for a meal, you go up to him and say, “hey brother, I know God will provide for you. Have a blessed day!”

WHAT??…..but seriously….crazy right? “I would never do that you say,”…..but don’t we? Maybe not in our words but perhaps in our actions. Don’t we daily avoid situations like this? Don’t we daily make excuses or reasons why we can’t walk the walk? “oh well, my cable is due….I can’t really spare any money, but I will pray for him” or “well, he is just faking it for a handout” or even “maybe if I just avoid eye contact…”

That is why Christianity is so FAKE these days. Because to many of us are claiming faith with NO WORKS!

“The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2: 4-6

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. ” 2 John vs. 6

There you have it….the man who claims to know him  but does not obey his word is a liar….but if you truly love him you will walk in his commands…and is greatest command is that YOU WALK IN LOVE!

WHOEVER CLAIMS TO LOVE HIM MUST WALK AS JESUS DID!

Jesus didn’t turn away from the hurting, the homeless, the broken…so why do we? Jesus didn’t judge or turn away anyone who was different then him…..so why do we? Jesus didn’t covet riches , he didn’t live for his career , he didn’t act selfishly with his wealth…so again I ask you, why do we?

Can you imagine Jesus working and building his carpentry business and growing his wealth so he can grow his 401K and buy a nice house  and pay for his smart phone plan , and of course have not only cable but HULU and Netflix too, because he must simply have options. Can you picture Jesus going to church to preach on Sundays, and occasionally giving to the needy  or occasionally offering his time to help others in need….but all the while really wishing he was at home watching the Big game?

NO!!! Jesus gave EVERYTHING to save us….Jesus walked selflessly and in love….so why dont we?

It is time to wake up and realize that faith is a whole lot more then claiming His Great Name. It is about having a relationship with God, it is about acting in obedience, following his word. It is about LOVING…..DOING…instead of preaching start being the difference that you wish to see in the world. Our world is in desperate need of some Love, it doesn’t need any more “Christians” it needs faithful followers and doers of His word.

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Blah Blah Blog.

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WOW. It has simply been to long. My last blog post was May 9th. Sad to say, I have not been as dedicated to my fitness/weight loss journey as I would have liked. I have not gained weight back (Or at least not much), but I have not progressed either.

As I sit here and reflect on the reason for this, I know there are many, many reasons and might I add excuses.

The past couple of months have led to many great things, none of which had to do anything with my fitness journey, but rather my spiritual journey.

My husband and I went on a vacation to Colorado in the beginning of June…and my oh my it was beautiful. This anticipated trip is one of the big reasons we started working out again, so that we could enjoy all that Colorado had to offer.

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Little did we know, that God had bigger plans for us. We started the  trip with visit to my hometown, the one that I grew up from age 11-18. I had not been back to this town in nearly 8 years…and going back opened up a lot of old wounds that I thought were healed. I had to encounter and face things that I had buried deep deep down. This was step one.

After our beautiful trip to Colorado, I wish that I could say we came back refreshed and rejuvenated, but that was not the case. We had invested so much hope in this trip, hope that it would restore and fulfill us, but it fell short. And here we were again…back to the norm…back to the same jobs and the same struggles. Here’s to another year….another year of blah. This was step two.

SO I of course didn’t blog during my vacation, and then a week after coming back I had wisdom tooth surgery….which did not really have any big impact on my life other then I couldn’t eat my normal diet or workout for a couple weeks! But as I recovered Matt and I were thinking about the 4th of July, we both had a three day weekend and were not sure what to do.

Our families are hundreds of miles and countless hours away, we don’t have any friends to do anything with, we don’t have a community that we are involved in….so what do we do? Well we decided to go to Chicago for the weekend, we had never been and it was only 5 hours away! So we grew excited for this adventure and to knock another notch off of our bucket list. Again hopes were high, and expectations grew as we anticipated this adventure. Step three.

So we get to Chicago. And it was….well it was blah. Yes it was BEAUTIFUL, stunning in fact, but something did not feel right. It was crowded, busy, hectic, hateful and vain. At one point Matt and I were walking on the Magnificent Mile, we had just visited the bean and were walking back to our hotel, and we were in this massive line/crowd that was all walking in the same direction as us. We looked around….and realized that we were blindly following those in front of us.  We were all going to the same place it seemed, but with out question, with out doubt we were all blindly following one another.

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Matt and I stopped….we stepped out of this massive crowd, and we looked around and saw a lot of hurt, broken and lost people…and we realized, we were one of them. That was step Four.

In the bible it talks about choosing to walk through the narrow gate rather then the wide gate….Sure the wide gate is easier, and thats what everyone is doing…but it doesn’t lead you to heaven, it doesn’t lead you to God, it leads you to pain, sorrow, destruction and ultimately Hell.

After that 4th of July weekend, God has done a lot of work in me and Matt’s life. He has opened our eyes to many, many things. One of those things being the Idols we have in our life….and there were many. One of them was actually working out! Sure it is good for us, but it was yet another thing that we became obsessive about, another thing we used to try and find fulfillment. Another thing we tried to do ourselves!

There are many other Idols that God has made us aware of and is helping us to overcome! God is stirring our hearts like never before, he is waking us up from a long coma, he is breathing new life into our lungs. He has great things planned for us, great plans to use us to be the light in a dark world. Plans to use us according to his purpose. Plans to help his name and love be known. Plans to give us a HOPE and a FUTURE.

So friends, although there is much more I could share, and much more I could say,  I will leave you with this. Yes, Matt and I will continue on our fitness journey, for I still want to lose weight and be a healthy happy me! BUT we will do it with a heart for JESUS! Instead of wanting to get fit and healthy for our own vanity, we want to do it so God can use us for his work, we want to do it so we can honor this temple, this life he has given us. AND lastly, we will not let it become an IDOL, we will not let it become more important then our God.

So this blog will be a little different, I still want to share my thoughts, my journey, and recipes….but I am going to do it in a way that honors and includes God. We are returning to the Lord, and how sweet it is to be back in his presence.

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