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As a coach in The Master’s Program for Women, we talk about the ceiling of complexity and when we learn and for most of us there is a significant drop off after college. According to Pew Research, 71% of all adults read less than 10 books in 2014. I want to go totally counter cultural to that stat. I want to be a lifelong learner with a curriculum for my life that will help me become the most impactful, loving and gracious self I can be.
This learning and personal development is not so that I can live a life that is better but it is so that I can serve the world better. My desire is to leave a legacy of hope, grace, power and influence. To do this I have to continue to be better…to set higher standards and expectations for my life…to dream BIG and believe that living an abundant, contented, joyful life is possible.
There are lots of areas to consider for lifelong curriculum but the first area needs to be over the only thing you can control in life – yourself. I want to be the best I can be physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Because of this desire, I chose (most of the time) to eat well and exercise. I read books and listen to podcasts that make me smarter as a leader, as an influencer, as a follower of Christ. I spend time practicing the spiritual disciplines and investing time and resources in the relationships around me that matter the most. By definition, that also means that I have to limit my relationships. I cannot be available and present for everyone. I have to say no to wonderful people so that I can say yes to those closest to me.
What about you? Do you have a curriculum? What legacy are you leaving? What can you do today to become the best you?
What in the world does Josh Hamilton and cereal have in common? As many of you know, last week it was reported and later confirmed by Josh that he relapsed and drank alcohol. (Side Note: So impressed at how the body of Christ has responded to Josh. Check out this article and this one as well as this one to see.) Josh has struggled with addiction for many years and had even lost everything until he cried out to Jesus. Check out his testimony.
So back to the original question….what does Josh and cereal have in common? I have an addiction, too, and it is cereal! Well, really, it could be just about any carb but when I am at the Jenkins home cereal seems to call my name. I made Bowdie and Andrea crack up the other night when I texted them while babysitting the boys, “I am going to bed early partly because I am tired but also so that I will quit eating.” Just like Josh it is a daily struggle for me to not feed my addiction. Pun intended.
However, unlike Josh I cannot “cold turkey” or simply quit going to grocery stores. I have to eat to live….the problem is too often I live to eat. Another difference is that if I give into the addiction I am usually only hurting myself unlike Josh who may hurt others if he chooses to get behind the wheel of a car.
The verse that has really rolled around in my head lately is 2 Corinthians 10:4 – The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. God has not chosen to just deliver me instantaneously from this addiction but I do have at my disposal weapons that can destroy strongholds – anything that has a strong hold on me.
Unfortunately, I do not always use the weapons available which takes me back to the cereal…Tuesday afternoon I was watching the boys because Andrea was helping with the funeral of an amazing man of God. I wanted (read lusted for) a bowl of cereal but was not hungry (this would be sin for me.) I had just poured the milk over the frosted shredded wheat and there was a knock on the door. “Aunt Becky, Blaine needs you! He is hurt.” I run out the door and see Blaine crying on the trampoline. I carried him into the house and laid him on the sofa to get an icepack on the (now we know) broken foot. As I sat with him, my cereal was growing soggier and soggier. By the time he was calmed down enough for me to get up, my cereal was yucky! I am grateful that 1 Corinthians 10:13 is true as well!
So I am throwing no stones at Josh but rather rejoicing that as quickly as he fell off the wagon he is back on again and praying that when I make unhealthy food choices or choose to over eat that I get back on track just as quickly.
What about you? Do you have any addictions that you struggle with? By the way, I had cereal yesterday morning for breakfast and only ate one cup!
Well, the challenge this month is to get the grocery and eating out budget under $200 for the month!!! So far so good as my recent shopping run that covered 90% of my groceries for the month only cost $82!! Here is what I got:
You may be asking, “How can that little bit of food feed you for a month?” Well, I am glad you asked… Here is what my meals look like for this month:
Breakfast is almost always strawberry/banana smoothie (made with diet V-8 splash, frozen bananas and strawberries), a boiled egg and oatmeal.
Mid-AM snack is an apple and mid-PM snack is homemade yogurt.
Lunch will be vegetable lasagna or veggie chili (still have 3 or 4 packets left from last month) with brown rice.
Dinner will be spinach topped chicken, turkey meatloaf or autumn glazed pork chops (also left from last month) with brown rice and frozen veggies.
Once I planned my month and took out the meals where I was out of town or already had commitments (i.e. church dinner), I needed 17 lunches and 17 dinners. The lasagna and spinach topped chicken each make 12 servings. Since the chili, meatloaf and pork chops are left over from last month I am pretty much good to go with what I already had in the freezer. I will need to go back and probably get another gallon of milk and fruit but for the most part I am covered.
I spent about 3 hours this afternoon preparing the chicken and the lasagna but it means that I am done cooking for the month. I freeze everything in single serving sizes so I just check my calendar and see what I planned and pull it before heading up to bed. This has saved me so much money and calories!!
What are some ways that you save money and/or calories?
This recipe is wonderful because I love all of the veggies. I can use a ton of them and feel full but not have all the added calories.
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ cup diced onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 ½ tablespoon Italian Seasoning
½ tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
6 oz can tomato paste
12 lasagna noodles
4-6 cups Chopped Vegetables (peppers, squash, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower, etc.)
1-10 oz box chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
16 oz skim cottage cheese
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
In 6 qt stockpot, sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add seasonings, canned tomatoes and paste. Cover and simmer 40 minutes stirring occasionally. (This makes a great marinara sauce as well.)
Chop 4-6 cups assorted vegetables. I used yellow squash, onions, mushrooms and a bag of frozen vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot medley). Add chopped vegetables to sauce mixture the last 10 minutes and cook until vegetables are crisp tender. (If using frozen vegetables, thaw beforehand and only add the last few minutes.) Set sauce aside.
Boil 12 Lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Drain spinach (press out excess water) and set aside. Spray bottom of 13 x 9” pan with cooking spray. Place 4 noodles across bottom of pan. Top with 1/3 of sauce/vegetable mixture. Spread 1/3 cottage cheese on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with 1/3 Parmesan cheese. Top with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese. Spread entire box of spinach evenly over cheese. Repeat noodles, vegetable and cheeses 2 more times ending with mozzarella cheese on top. (I actually was only able to do this noodle process twice so I just made a smaller lasagna using and 8×8 pan and cooked it alongside the other dish.)
Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes or until light brown on top and bubbling on sides. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving. Serves 12
Nutritional Information: 284 Calories; 9g Fat (27.1% calories from fat); 19g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 19mg Cholesterol; 678mg Sodium.
This recipe is VERY flavorful and the chicken is extremely moist. I freeze one in a sandwich size zip lock bag and the toppings does fine when I thaw to eat.
12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 ½ lbs)
3 egg whites
¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ cup sliced green onions
1 Tbl minced garlic
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1-cup skim milk
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
4 oz pancetta ham, diced
Preheat oven to 350° F. Slightly beat egg whites in small bowl; set aside. Combine bread crumbs, cheese, salt & pepper in shallow dish. Dip chicken breasts in egg whites; roll in bread crumb mixture and arrange in 9×13-inch baking dish. Save remaining crumbs. In a saucepan, cook green onions and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour. Stir in milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir one minute more. Stir in spinach and ham. Spoon spinach mixture over chicken; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake uncovered 40-45 minutes or until done. Serves 12.
Nutritional Information: 211 Calories; 5g Fat; 31g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 79mg Cholesterol; 391mg Sodium.
As I have mentioned before, gluttony is one of my “regular” besetting sins. To help me in this area I have to make a plan for my meals and then execute the plan. I begin with reviewing my calendar and determine when I will not be eating out and plug it into an excel spreadsheet. (I usually do just two weeks at a time but since I will be out of town for a week in January I went ahead and did the month.) Then I determine how many meals I need – this time I needed 23 breakfasts, 20 lunches and 17 dinners.
Using some old recipes as well as new recipes I then start plugging meals into the spread sheet (breakfast usually doesn’t change.) Here is my spreadsheet with a few days plugged in:
The recipes I used this time were Lime Chicken (4 servings), Easy Turkey Meatloaf (8 servings), Mexican Chicken Casserole (8 servings), Autumn Glazed Pork Chops (4 servings) and Vegetarian Chili (15 servings). Once the spreadsheet is filled out, I can then make my grocery list. After going to the grocery store on Friday night, I cooked Saturday morning and made yogurt, the five recipes, bag of brown rice above as well as eight smoothies. All are frozen in single serving sizes and I will thaw each out as I go through the month.
By doing this I save LOTS of money, calories and stress. Let me know if you try doing this as well.
10 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
12 6-in. corn tortillas, torn into pieces
2 10.7 oz. cans reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes
8 oz. Velveeta Light processed cheese
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350° F. In medium saucepan, heat soup, tomatoes and cheese until cheese is melted. Sauté bell pepper and onion in nonstick skillet with 1/4 cup of water or broth until tender. Stir into soup mixture; add chicken and tortillas. Pour into 9×13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake 30 minutes. Serves 8.
Nutritional Information: 243 Calories; 7g Fat (24.9% calories from fat); 20g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 38mg Cholesterol; 989mg Sodium.
2 large carrots, diced (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, diced (1/2 cup)
1 medium-size sweet onion, diced
Vegetable cooking spray
2 (8-oz.) packages sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large zucchini, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 yellow squash, chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
3 cups tomato juice
2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
4 (15-oz.) cans pinto, black, great Northern, or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
Sauté first 3 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and squash; sauté 3 more minutes. Add chili powder and next 2 ingredients, and sauté 5 more minutes.
Stir together tomato sauce and tomato juice in a 6-qt. slow cooker until smooth. Stir in diced tomatoes, next 2 ingredients, and carrot mixture. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.
Note: Cool leftovers, and freeze in plastic freezer containers or zip-top plastic freezer bags for up to 2 months.
Calories: 124 Fat: 0.8g Protein: 7.4g Carbohydrate: 24.5g Fiber: 7g Iron: 2mg Sodium: 566mg Calcium: 63mg
4 pork, boneless loin chops, 3/4-inch thick
1/4 teaspoon pepper, black ground
1/4 cup(s) apple cider, or juice
1/2 cup(s) cranberry sauce, whole
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon orange juice concentrate, frozen
1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick coating. Heat over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle both sides of chops with pepper. Brown chops on each side in hot skillet. Add apple cider. Cover tightly; cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes or until chops are just done.
Drain off juices.
In a small bowl combine cranberry sauce, honey, orange juice concentrate, ginger and nutmeg. Pour over chops.
Cook for 1-2 minutes, until heated through.
Calories: 220 Total Fat: 5 g Cholesterol: 47 mg Sodium: 47 mg Total Carbohydrate: 25 g Protein: 19 g
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
1/8 c. tomato paste
1/8 c. fat free chicken stock
¼ t pepper
½ t basil flakes
¼ t oregano
1 c oatmeal
½ c fat-free milk
Mix all ingredients, except oatmeal and milk, together in a large bowl. Then stir in oatmeal until desired consistency (using your hands is easier to mix). Place the mixture in a 2 quart baking dish. Shape with your hands to make an oval, not allowing the loaf to touch the sides. Pour the milk over the meatloaf mixture. Cover the dish with aluminum foil or lid. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, uncover and bake for 10 more minutes. Makes 8 servings.
Calories: 239 Total Fat: 12 g Total Carbohydrate: 9 g Protein: 24 g
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