August 24, 2013

What I Ate Today: High Fruity, Raw Vegan

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
1 Peter 3:14

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
1 Peter 3:17

Even if I suffer for righteousness' sake, I will be blessed. Even if, by opening my mouth and talking about Jesus, I lose friends, I am hated, I am rejected, even then... I will be blessed. Unfortunately, I don't usually talk about Jesus, with the exception of this blog.

I don't want to lose friends (I am selfish), I don't want to be hated (I am proud), I don't want to be rejected.

"It's as if we think we are too good to be persecuted." It's as if I think I should avoid persecution completely and I know how to do so: keep my mouth shut at every opportunity I am given to talk about how amazing Jesus Christ is.

I want to be persecuted. Jesus Himself was persecuted, and killed. Do I think I deserve an easier life than Him? How do any of us, sinners flawed wicked rude prideful selfish, think we should have it better than Jesus - perfect, loving, Son of God, kind, giving, humble, selfless servant.

I want to talk about Jesus. I want to share all He is to me. I want to tell everyone how God, Jesus' Father and mine, has lavished so, so much upon all of us and He gives us the free will to follow Him and receive these gifts or...follow this world and receive absolutely nothing but despair.

"For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. "

Praying. For boldness. To be more like Christ. To share freely. To be honest and loving in the truth.

To stop being a fool who keeps their mouth shut all. the. time. Except to crack jokes, discuss nothingness and attempt encouraging those around me without having to actually say anything about Jesus.

Praying.



I used to not be able to imagine what someone could possibly eat and be fully satisfied, fully full and not malnourished when their diet consists of only fruit and vegetables. I would bring up the thought that you ought to eat nuts or seeds for boosted protein, or beans and grains for their great nutrient punch. Then I ate like this one day. And I realized.

I'm fully satisfied today.
I am fully full.
I am not malnourished.

Celebrate! Now I share what I did. 

Breakfast: I cut up half a giant watermelon. I ate it slowly and savored every piece. Just kidding, I drank water from wake (5:30am) to work (8:15am) and then proceeded to eat this so fast that my gut yelled at me LOUDLY for filling it with so much water at once that I had to take a serious break a third of the way trough to prevent toppling over onto the floor beneath my computer chair and THEN I slowed down and savored every last bite.

Lunch: I filled my blender with kale and a little water. Pulsed. Then I filled the blender and shredded kale water with bananas. Blend. It made 2 1/2 jars. At 34oz a jar that is 81oz of oh my goodness! Slurped once I felt hungry, with breaks in between each jar. Like a three course meal! Cool.

Dinner: I cut up an entire head of romaine and it was huge and green and crispy and yums. Next I diced a couple beef steak tomatoes, bell pepper, Serrano chili, some green onion and juiced 1 lime. Into a bag they went to marinate since I ran out of glassware. It took me a long time to chew. It was delicious. I make it many times a week.. Sometimes I add half an avocado. Sometimes I eat carrots.

It's not always this way. Sometimes I eat with my baby boy and he eats steamed vegetables for dinner. Munch munch. Another time just recently I made my hubs brown rice curry with pineapple bell pepper carrots and chili peppers (and curry powder, turmeric and garam masala with shredded coconut). He couldn't eat it all so I did. It tasted like spicy wonders. 

I'm almost always full after those salads. But I often leave a special part in my tummy for some of my babe's streamed vegetables. Cooked carrots taste sweet and divine, and cooked potato is ah ma gash good.

Month 4 of eating this way: commence!

I'll tell you one thing is for sure sure sure: my gut doesn't miss beans!


August 17, 2013

Santiago James 11 Months!


• we lowered his crib! For the sake of NOT waiting until he attempts to crawl out and land on his head.
• he hands us stuff and takes it back!
• he started "snacking" on breastmilk during the day and then having longer nursing sessions at nighttime. Easier when we go out in public cause I just bring a banana smoothie along and he's good!
• he fed me a piece of strawberry and a piece of orange! He thought it was hilarious and fun but... proceeded to hold food up to me and say, "syke!" As he brought it quickly to his own mouth. Tricky tricky.


• he gets super excited when watching me water the lettuce we planted, and hold his hand under the water as it pours out of the spout. He also likes putting dirt in his mouth and being extra sneaky as he chews on small pebbles that I didn't see him consume...
• he likes to high five when he is eating! He started to hold one hand/arm in the air so I began responding by saying, "high five!" And he seemed to have caught on since it is now followed by a big grin and giggle (from both of us).
• he love himself the kitchen cabinets! including glassware, the spice rack, pots and pans, and a tortilla holder.



• 2 more teeth popping through on the top row, it's adorable and I may have squealed in the car when I first saw them. Why is it so exciting?! Weeeee!
• Sat up from from lying down after his nap! I almost cried when I opened his door and was greeted by this surprising sight. (Also did this once in the middle of the night and it threw my brain for a loop when I went in his room and found him just sitting in his crib crying in his dark room).
• Took 4 steps on his own while holding into the tortilla keeper-warmer! Balance magic.
• Likes to play with the paper towels and rip apart kleenex for long periods of time. I like that both are inexpensive children's toys.


• Fought me like a determined angry man during a diaper change (make that 4, in the entire day, that included flipping, twisting and turning while screaming atop his baby lungs)
• Stands up from sitting (while pulling up onto something sturdy like his crib bars or the couch) if he feels like it, which isn't often and he probably won't do it if you want him to so you can videotape him!
• He waved goodbye to his grandparents for the first time! And then decided to nevah do it again. For weeks.
• He looks straight up in the air and searches attentively if you shout, "balloon!"



• 3 days before his 11 month bday - he started to "officially" crawl in weird, one leg ways! All over the room!
• He copies us when we make a coughing noise and giggles.
• He tried fresh figs for the first time! Enjoyed much so, kept staring at the creepy looking insides between each bite.
• His typical meals=
  • nurse in the morning around 6, sleep another 1-2 hours. 
  • Breakfast: watermelon and berries 
  • Snack: breastfeed 
  • Lunch: kale or spinach banana smoothie, whole banana on the side 
  • Snack: breastfeed 
  • Dinner: steamed veggies and sweet potato with half an avocado 
  • Snack: breastfeed before bed.
**We switch up the fruit, sometimes blueberries are involved, melon, mango, etc. basically if we are eating it for breakfast or lunch, so is he!


• Orange and pineapple smoothies give his bum a rash! At least, I think they are the culprit. So we are going to stop giving them to him so often and hold off until a year old.
• He is fascinated by our (electric, fake, magic?) fireplace and thinks it's better than allllll of his toys.
• He has pulled up onto furniture TWICE! from sitting position!
• Teething troubles: screaming and yelling and fighting about the existence of life (woohoo UPDATE: he only did this for a couple days. SO THANKFUL)


God is so full of love. Each day is a gift, no matter how high or low I rated on the mama scale. I am in awe that our peanut is almost one entire. year. old.

more babies, please!

August 8, 2013

The Nutrients in Fruit Breakfasts!

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

II Corinthians 2:15, 16

I don't know that I have ever read this verse until this week, and I really enjoy it. As believers and followers of Jesus Christ we are a fragrance to everyone. This fragrance can be sour to those who choose not to follow Him, it can be pleasing to fellow Christians, or it can be overwhelming and unavoidable to those that want to know Him but haven't made that decision. If we really seek to live for Christ, please our Heavenly Father and make it a priority to share our testimony with others, our fragrance will be unmistakably of Christ.

So, so powerful. I'm in awe of how the bible is like poetry at times, it's no wonder in these modern days we often make worship songs out of exact bible verses, word for word. The Holy Spirit really led the authors to write in such a beautiful way.


Ever wonder how good it really would be for your body to consume only fruit for breakfast? Me too. So what I did was check into a little website called Cronometer, and looked into the numbers. How many nutrients are loaded onto this simple plate of food? Vitamins? Minerals? Proteins? Let's take a wee look.

Mango breakfast!
5 Atualfo mangos (the skinny fellas)
  • 535 calories
  • 5g protein
  • 50% of your daily fiber needs
  • 100% of your Vitamin A
  • 100% of your Vitamin C
  • 10% of your calcium
  • 10% of your iron

Orange n' Pineapple breakfast!
4 oranges, 1 entire pineapple
  • 604 calories
  • 8.7g protein
  • 74% of your fiber needs
  • 64% of your B1
  • 31% of your B2
  • 33% of your B3
  • 59% if yiyr B6
  • 62% of your folate
  • 100% of your vitamin C
  • 33% of your calcium
  • 73% of your copper
  • 10% of your zinc
  • 29% of your iron
  • 100% of your manganese
  • 45% of your mangensium
  • 26% of your phosphorus
  • 32% of your potassium

Honeydew Melon breakfast!
1 1/2 melons
  • 540 calories
  • 8.1g protein
  • 41% B1
  • 11% B2
  • 37% B3
  • 33% B5
  • 66% B6
  • 57% Folate
  • 100% Vitamin C
  • 48% Vitamin K
  • 9% Calcium
  • 28% Copper
  • 28% Iron
  • 48% Magnesium
  • 16% Manganese
  • 24% Phosphorus
  • 67% Potassium
  • 15% Selenium
  • 18% Sodium
  • 11% Zinc

This makes it a lot easier to see how breakfasts like these ones, plus a fruit smoothie full of spinach, then a giant salad consisting of an entire head of greens plus vegetables, can meet 100% of all your nutrient needs to have energy for the crazy life we live!

Praise God for His beautiful creation. It's so amazing.

August 7, 2013

Orange, Cilantro Dressing - to go!

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

II Corinthians 1:21, 22

Sealed with the Spirit! It feels so comforting, knowing that God's Spirit dwells in my heart. I am never alone, I don't have to depend on my own strengths to get me through the day. When you believe and seek to live for Jesus Christ, you are gifted with the guarantee of His Spirit living in you. This means there is a constant guide for you, a Rock to lean on when you feel weak, a companion - a Savior - who never stops loving you and will never leave your side. It's a promise. Jesus is watching us from Heaven but His Spirit doesn't leave our side for even a minute.

Sometimes life takes a turn for "not so awesome" and I feel like I am completely alone. It might not feel like complete loss, but I do feel empty, and sorrow tends to blind me fully so it is as if I am at the lowest of lows. I'm talking, feel inadequate as a mama and nanny, wonder if these babies think I am boring, can't stop biting my nails or struggle to break small habits like that one, self esteem drops, all I want to do is go for a 30 mile jog and put all responsibilities and duties on hold - just this once! That's what I mean when I have a "down" day. They only hit me every once in a while, praise the Lord! But when they greet me they come on full throttle.

You know what I have come to realize? I only experience these off days when I'm not in rich communication with my Father in Heaven. If I don't open the Bible that morning, pray and acknowledge who He is, confess, give thanks and cast my prayer requests and petitions His way - I'm not off to a good start. I can try to replace bible time with praying out loud as I prepare breakfast, or talk to Jesus while the babies and I are on our daily walk - but something will be missing even so. My thoughts will be foggy, my prayers tend to wander and I find myself thinking about my shoes, focus just won't happen.

Even so: the Holy Spirit of God never leaves me! What changes on those days is the fact that I cannot see or feel Him because of the choices I make. Sometimes we feel like His Spirit is no where to be found. We call out to Him and no answer, we cast all our cares to Him and feel like they land on the floor next to us so we are forced to pick them back up again. But He doesn't leave us. Our world distracts us, blinds us and steers our thoughts away from Him. It's like we are digging a hole as we stand in it and with each distraction we feel further from the presence of God. Deeper, deeper, further, further away... Until we hear absolutely nothing but our spiritual battles shouting in our ears. When our loving Savior is right there waiting for us to take the blindfold off our eyes and see Him ready to free us from the chaos in our mind.

Let's acknowledge His greatness, love, grace, goodness, compassion, forgiveness. Let's confess our faults, our feelings of self doubt and inadequacy, our lack of self love. Let's give Him thanks for His presence, His Son and Spirit, His mercy, the life He breaths into us each day, another opportunity to live out the day for Him. And then we can give Him ALL of our thoughts, fears, prayers, struggles, battles, distractions, burdens.

God has sealed us and given us the Spirit as a guarantee. We're free! We're protected and loved richly.


oh my goodness where did Santi learn to smile like that. Nevermind, it doesn't matter to me, I love this new smile with my whole heart.

The other day my breakfast seemed to have filled me up for many, many hours (hooray! That's what they are meant to do, right?) which caused my lunchtime to bump to a later hour, and my dinner to become later, as well. So, because life is life and it's funny and interesting and unpredictable and you have to be ready for things not to always go your way.... dinnertime was going to hit right in the middle of grocery shopping time. So what's a girl to do? Prepare some take out. Take out of the house with ice packs, and eat in the car at another hour. It worked! and it was tasty business.

The original recipe calls for orange juice. I translate that, in any recipe, to an orange. Feel free to use orange juice if it's in your fridge or if you feel like juicing an orange.

Orange n' Cilantro dressing
for 1 salad

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 bell pepper (I used red)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 large handful of cilantro
Salad toppings:
  • more bell pepper (the other half)
  • 1-2 tomatoes (or 8, if you fancy)
  • some baby carrots
1) blend the dressing ingredients until silky smooth. Pour over your greens when you're ready to eat. Add the extra vegetables. Consume in the car on the way home from the Asian market where they sell cheap mango, organic fruit at random days of the week, melon that is cheaper than Costco's, and ripe bananas by the box.

hooray!

August 6, 2013

Cucumber Noodles with Tomato n' Mango

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:9, 10

If we follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and believe His Word is truth, we are called God's people! We are told to proclaim all that our amazing God is so that people would hear about how He saved us from an empty life and gave us new hope, bringing us into the light. As we bask in this light that is freedom from sin, and life in Christ, we can use our testimony to tell everyone about Jesus. Tell everyone there is a King reigning in Heaven that loves them so, so much. He can be your rock that keeps you steady. He can be your guide when you feel lost and need direction. He can be your everything since this world gives you nothing.

We are God's people, we have received mercy. Mercy. An undeserved gift from the Lord. The giving of His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and gift is with salvation. His forgiveness of our past, rocky and wicked. His love, abundant and satisfying. We have received this mercy!


Did I mention Santi enjoys gardening? More than gardening, though, he enjoys placing his hand under the stream of H2O as I water the lettuce. More than even that, though, he enjoys pulling up the baby lettuce leaves and playing in the dirt, as well as sneaking small rocks into his mouth. Thankfully, we have caught him each time he attempts small rock consumption and we promptly remove the foreign object from his mouth. Silly baby.

This recipe is one of my faaaavorites because it's really refreshing, light, delicious, scrumptious, colorful, yums, woah, ay ay ay, and easy. I don't know if I will feel the same about it when it's 20 degrees fahrenheit outside and snowing, but for the Summer this thang is gooooood!

Cucumber Noodles with Tomato/MANGOO
serves one
  • 3 English cucumbers
  • 2 giant tomatoes
  • 3 giant mangos
Using a julienne peeler (I have this one), julienne your cucumbers! I sometimes peel the cucumbers first, or leave them with the skin in tact. Dice your tomato. Cut up your mango. MIX AND EAT. That was fun!

August 5, 2013

Raw "Tacos" for the Win!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2 ESV

"Do not be conformed to this world..." I think this was my motto the last years of high school. Not because I wanted to be like Jesus, but because I didn't want to be like everyone else. I wanted to be different, and stand out among the clones of the class of 2006. It worked, too. I wasn't like all the other girls, but it didn't make me any cooler. Now I would measure my "coolness" not by how unique I am on a scale of 1-10, but how much I seek to be like Christ and have grace for myself when I stumble (daily).

This verse is amazing. We are told to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. When we believe that God sent us His only Son, Jesus, to live among the people, die for our sins and rise again for our salvation a sake, and decide to live for HIM and not for ourselves - something incredible happens. We are no longer our old selves, but we are a NEW creation in Christ Jesus!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

We don't have to be like the rest of the world who has yet to find their Creator, their hope, who saves them from the slavery of sin. We are free in Christ, we are saved by His grace, we are forgiven because our God loves us and offers sanctification. We're free at last. Since we are free, the Spirit of God dwells in us and guides our steps (as well as thoughts and words) - and He helps us to live in a way that pleases our Heavenly Father.

I used to pray, "Your will be done in my life" or, "what ever Your will be in this situation.." yet I have come to realize that we CAN live according to God's good and perfect will if we ask Him to help us do so. "Lord, help me to live according to Your will!" meaning we ask Him to inspire our thoughts, words and actions throughout the day. We trust that if we depend on Him fully, we will mirror His Son and reflect all He has done for us - not perfectly, but in a way that pleases our Savior, in humility.

We are no longer conformed to this world, we have been transformed. We are new in Jesus!


Santi being a great model and I practiced the art of photography with back lighting. T'was not the easiest of tasks, a lot of trial and error in Manual mode - but I like how this one turned out. Aaaaand his grin brings me great joy!

The following recipe is what happens when I decide not to take the extra 3 minutes to chop a head of lettuce. Instead, I give the big leaves a good rinse with cold water, pat dry, and call them taco shells. SO GOOD!

TACOS
  • 1 head of romaine, wash them leaves and pat dry
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into strips
  • 1 handful cilantro, diced
  • 1 serrano chili, diced or left whole to bite into during taco consumption (how my Mexican hubby taught me joyfully)
  • 1 lime's juices
  • 1/2 avocado
  • optional: corn, other veggies that are taco-friendly
Combine all the taco filling ingredients: tomato strips, bell pepper strips, diced cilantro, diced serrano, lime juice and the optionals. To eat your taco, mash some avocado on the leaf, fill with a few hefty spoonfuls of veggies and bite into the amazingness. Sometimes I eat like a boat *makes boat horn noise* or I place another romaine leaf on top like it's a sandwich. Voila!


easy. fast. yums.

August 4, 2013

CIlantro, Mango Salsa over Greens

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:13 ESV

My hope is found in the promise that Jesus will come back, and this verse says He will bring us the gift of (undeserved) grace along with Him. That means, although we are nasty sinners, if we have accepted His gift of salvation, once He returns we are not guilty before Him! Mind you, as long as we ask for forgiveness before He returns we are then already washed clean. Yet there is something beautiful about knowing that once we are in God's presence, we are completely redeemed by His Son's death for our sins, resurrection for our hope. We have nothing to fear, no worries to hold on to - in Jesus' eyes, we are holy!


Santiago likes gardening, and I like eating gardens. Win, win! Here is a recipe that I found in the raw food blogger world, and it was absolutely delicious!

Cilantro n' Mango Salsa (over greens!)
  • 1-2 mangos
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • optional: 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • optional: 1 serrano chili pepper (spicy!) 
You have two options: peel the mangos and dice them, as well as the tomato, and cut the cilantro fine then combine everything in a bowl and toss with a head of your favorite leafy green. Or throw the salsa ingredients in a blender and make it into a dressing! I choice option B, because it takes less time. But I think next time I will dice everything up so it's more "salsa" like and I will probably add some onion!


The greens I chose were: a couple handfuls of spring mix and half a head of green leaf lettuce to make things crunchy. Oh so good!

August 1, 2013

Our Weekly Food Purchases!

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV

We are called to be holy. Immediately this makes me think that we are called to be perfect, so I failed that one completely. But that's not the case: perfection; it's not what we are called to possess. I'm going though a devotional of 1 Peter on my phone called She Reads Truth. The writer says it beautifully:

"The Lord doesn’t call us to be something we cannot be. We cannot be perfect. But we can be set apart, just as Peter was... Being holy, though, has less to do with being without fault and more to do with the state of our heart once we’ve come to know Christ. "

It's a relief, a blessing, knowing that we aren't called to be perfect. Jesus is perfect, we aren't Jesus - but we can live by His example!


I really enjoy seeing what people buy each week for their family's consumption. Recently I saw "What the World Eats" on Time magazine's website, and to be honest, it broke my heart into bits. First I was mad, because so many of us in the world eat complete garbage (I mean the processed "foods" in rainbow colored packaging) and then I saw how much junk we eat in very, very large quantities compared to how little food other families have in different countries around the world. It's insane. Please go see for yourselves and talk about the madness!

Anyhow, I decided to finally get all our food that we eat in a week (mind you, some of the bananas are frozen by the end of the week - but this past week none got frozen, we actually almost ran out but thankfully once I used the last ones I opened up a cupboard full of the used-to-be-green guys and they were all spotted and soft for eating! Woopa!) in one snapshot. We go to Costco, and a nearby grocery store.


Organic: all greens (spinach, kale, lettuces), berries, broccoli, potatoes, carrots.
Conventional: oranges, pineapple, melon, bananas, avocado, mango (unless the Asian market has cheap organic ones!)
Hot House Grown: cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes - we purchase hot house instead of organic since we love these foods and buying large quantities in organic would be madness expensive. Hot house grown fruits and vegetables are only sprayed with pesticides as a last resort and therefore are good choices when you cannot afford or choose not to buy organic! 

We spend about $120-$140 a week on groceries. We almost never go out to eat (we went for my hub's birthday last week for sushi, and try to do date night with a meal every other month) and we enjoy spending money on our produce! You have to decide what you're going to spend your money on, and this is where most of ours goes. Our health is in God's hands, this we trust and know. Eating kale doesn't make you immune to all the sickness and disease out there, but we like to believe that buy not buying 10 frozen meals for $10, we are preventing illnesses that could creep up on us in the future - which always come with a price.

Spend the money now. or spend it later, you choose!