Facebook fasting for discernment…yeah, you read that right!

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My daily schedule consists of waking up, looking at Facebook, listening to Our Daily Bread devotional, showering, eating, getting dressed for work and then going to work.  While I’m at work I’ll check Facebook again, just in case I’ve missed something important in the world.  Facebook is THE premier news source, you know.  After work, I’ll eat, spend time with my husband, and unwind by watching a movie, reading OR looking at Facebook.  Do you notice a pattern here?  I look at Facebook more than I’m reading The Word.

This is a problem not just for my spiritual health, but for my mental health. The more I’m focused on what’s important in the world, I lose focus on what’s important to God.  Everybody is celebrated on Facebook. If we are feeling good about ourselves and are proud of what we do we want the world to know.  Only the good is plastered on Facebook and we rarely hear about anyone’s failures.

My priorities tend to line up with worldly achievements and I forget that God has a specific calling on my life.  I tend to question what it is that I’m supposed to do.  My job doesn’t appear to be making as much of a mark as other people seem to be doing.  Am I supposed to take the GRE and go to grad school in order to do great things? There are so many of my friends that seem to have already reached their full potential. When will my time come, Lord? I immediately blame myself for not being motivated enough, I become envious and covet other people’s success, and I rethink all the things that I could have done differently in order to be where they are.  This lowers my self-esteem and I get caught in this circle of hating myself for not being motivated or “active” enough, convincing myself that I’ll never be cut out for “greatness” because of my lack of motivation, and feeling stuck because I still desire to use my talents to do good things.  This is toxic and is delaying all the progress that I could be making on discerning my  purpose in life.  Therefore, I have decided to take a Lenten fast from Facebook in order to seek God’s face and further discern my purpose in life.

I came across this scripture while reading some faith blogs for inspiration.

“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load” Galatians 6:4-5 NIV

I also found another translation (The Message) for the same passage, and  the purpose of this fast became even clearer.

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 6:4-5 The Message

This Lent, I’m purposefully removing myself from Facebook world where everyone does everything right.  I will focus on God’s Word, develop my talents for writing and healing, and discern how I should use my talents.  Writing is a conversation that I have with myself after reading or life experiences incur a scavenger hunt of my soul.  I’m able to discover many things about myself, others, and our relationship with God. I will make a “careful exploration” of who I am and whose I am and “sink” myself into that.  I will do my best not to compare myself with others.  And I will take responsibility “for doing the creative best” I can with my own life.  How satisfying will that be?!

BBC News – The Indian sanitary pad revolutionary (Menstrual Man)

Ideas and Events

This article, featured in the Magazine section of BBC News, focuses on Arunachalam Muruganantham, known mainly for his work on producing cheap sanitary pads for poor women in India. Made (relatively) famous by the documentary film Menstrual Man (2013), his story is one of tenacity in the face of ridicule and ostracism, as despite the clear health benefits involved in providing sanitary pads to women, the issue was a taboo topic.

Indeed, his story is remarkable as an example of innovation and invention – while inventors are noted for their ingenuity in terms of the creative solution, and perserverance in the ability to continually try new ideas to achieve the final product, what they had to overcome was often simply the technical difficulty of research and development. Muruganantham, on top of all that, also had to deal with the fact that the very issue was one that, despite being objectively important…

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Real People Eat Real Food: Veggie Lasagna (Whole Wheat Noodle Option)

Sorry it has been forever since my last post (nearly a month ago)! Between getting a “viral thing” on my 25th bday and changing schedules at work, things have been a little hectic. But things have quieted down a little bit and I’ve made so much good food that I wanna share with y’all.

This dish has become one of my all time faves because its filling and yummy and fun to make.  Its probably my husband’s favorite dish that I’ve made since we’ve been married almost 3 years ago. Today’s feature includes whole wheat noodles. There is a recipe that I’m eager to try with zucchini noodles that I’ll feature at a later date (haven’t gone grocery shopping yet this week). You can make this with or without meat. Add more mushrooms or eggplant as a meat substitute.

Ingredients

6 whole grain pasta noodles 

2 or 3 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms or eggplant

2 cups chopped green bell pepper

1 cup chopped kale

2 cups chopped white onion

1 cup sliced tomato

1 glass jar of organic pasta sauce (still haven’t mastered homemade pasta sauce yet)

1 table spoon coconut oil (for sauteing)

1 pound low-fat mozzarella cheese

1 small container low fat ricotta cheese

1 lb ground turkey or chicken breasts, cooked

 

RECIPE:

1. Combine all veggies and coconut oil in deep sauteing pan (not sure of the proper term for this pan lol).  Saute veggies until tender.  Begin to boil lasagna noodles in tall boiling pot.

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2. Skip this option if you are going meatless. If you want meat, simply add the pound of cooked turkey meat or chicken breasts to rest of mixture.  Allow to saute for 5 more minutes. Take out al dente lasagna noodles from boiling water and place them separately on cooking sheets (dinner plates work just as well if you don’t have cooking sheets).   Lasagna noodles like to stick together and curl if you leave them on top of each other for a while.

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3. Add sauce to pan. Heat with everything else for 10 minutes.

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4. Lasagna is all about layers. Place a thin layer of the sauce combination on the bottom of a glass or tin 8″ by 11″ pan. Place 3 cooked lasagna noodles on top of the thin layer of sauce.  Then, place a more heftier amount of sauce/filler on top of the noodles.

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5. Sprinkle half of bag of mozzarella cheese on top of sauce filling. Add a tablespoon of ricotta cheese to each of the four corners of the pan on top of the sauce filling. 

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6. Add another layer of 3 noodles.

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7. Add a final layer of sauce filling and mozzarella.

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8.  Place aluminum foil on top on pan. Heat in oven at 375 degrees for 45 mins. Let cool for 15 mins. Serve in squares. Should be a really tasty meal!!

 

 

 

 

ASPARAGUS Season!

Daily Health Central

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It is prime season for the green veggie! This vegetable is LOADED with nutrients including fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, packed with antioxidants and is a cancer fighting plant. Asparagus is a must have for the winter. Pop them in the oven with lemon juice, and enjoy all the benefits the green guys have.  Try an asparagus soup using only the vegetable, low sodium chicken broth and fresh herbs such as fresh basil and dill. @dailyhealthcentral.com  #eatinghealthy

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Real People Eat Real Food: Black Bean Burgers

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I’m starting a new series that showcases a bunch of recipes that I’ve tried.  I’ll try my best to incorporate non-processed foods in the recipes, with a few exceptions. My point is that, as Americans, we have become accustomed to eating processed food and encouraging gluttony on our plates. Incorporating real foods into your diet helps to ensure that we get all the right nutrients and not starve our bodies of things that are necessary for healthy functioning bodies and immune systems. I also want to show that you don’t have to eat like a bird in order to eat healthy or lose weight. Moderation is key, but filling up on good nutrients will lead to better health.

My first recipe is Bri’s Black Bean Burgers ( how ’bout that for alliteration?!). I found this recipe online, but made a few alterations (some by accident).

Items needed:

2 large eggs

1 cup bread crumbs

2 15 ounce cans of black beans (drained after opening)

1 large red onion (chopped)

1 green bell pepper (chopped)

1 tablespoon chipotle chile pepper

A hand full of mushrooms

3 cloves of garlic (chopped)

 

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375

1. In a large bowl, mash both cans of black beans until thick and pasty. 

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2. Place the onions, garlic, green bell pepper, and mushroom into a blender or food processor (Food processor is probably better. We used a blender because that’s all we had). This mixture should smell like guacamole when blended. 

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3. In a smaller bowl mix the two eggs and chipotle chile pepper.

4. Place the blender mixture in the bowl with the beans. Mix together. Now pour and mix in the egg mixture and bread crumbs in the bean mixture. Now you should have an “everything mixture”.

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5. Form patties with the everything mixture and place on a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Bake on one side for 11 minutes and then flip over the patties for another 11 minutes.  

But is it tasty?

Don’t expect them to taste like burgers, because it is not made out of meat. While cooking, it smelled so much like a Korean restaurant, and the kick of the chipotle chili pepper powder reminded me of the kick in kimchi. This kick was unexpected because the original recipe called for just chili pepper powder, not CHIPOTLE chili pepper powder. However, without this kick, I have a feeling these burgers would be really bland.  Overall, this was VERY tasty! My husband loved them too! Next time, I would probably add more bread crumbs to hold them together better.  

Try them and let me know what you think!