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Fitness Friday: 21 Day Fix Week 2

21 Day Fix Week 2

Week 2 is done, and I’m heading into week 3 of the 21 Day Fix. I’m starting to feel stronger with the workouts, and I’m not having as much difficulty breathing as I was when I first started the program. I’m still doing modification on some of the exercises, but I have been able to use the heavier weights with other exercises. I can definitely see and feel progress being made.

With this program, consistency is the key to making it work and building a new fitness habit. D says that, in time, my body will begin to crave the physical exercise, and it won’t like it when I miss exercising for more than a few days. I definitely don’t feel that yet, but I kind of look forward to that happening. I still need to be very purposeful in what I’m doing.

I have a pretty good routine set up now which does help. I get up and take care of the animals (feeding and mucking stalls), exercise, clean up, drink a smoothie, and start the day. Taking care of the animals before exercising allows me to fully wake up and warm up before jumping into the exercise program. On days when I can’t follow the routine, for whatever the reason, I find it a lot more difficult to motivate myself to exercise, but I just make myself do it.

Part of the eating program, which I don’t follow to the letter, is that you can have a certain amount of different types of food each day. You can “splurge” and swap out juice 3 times a week for one of the containers. Instead of using the full amount 3 times a week, I cut the amount of juice in half which allows me to have a smoothie with juice every day.

I have not experienced any weight loss, but that’s not a surprise. As I said earlier, I am definitely feeling a lot more fit which was my goal. I am getting more toned which is pretty cool. One frustration for me is that I’m getting less flexible as I continue with the program. I’ve always been quite flexible, and I’m experiencing less flexibility due to tight muscles. I’m trying to do more stretching throughout the day and before bed to combat this.

I’m thankful that I’ve found something that is working for me right now.

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Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado

Special thanks to the publisher and Family Christian for providing a review copy of this book. This post may contain affiliate links.

When Chelsea returns to her family’s cafe – The Higher Ground Cafe, she is broken. Her mom passed away and left her the cafe with loads of unexpected debt. She’s separated from her husband. Her teenage son and young daughter are struggling with being away from their dad. She still carrying hurt from her childhood. She doesn’t know how she is going to do it on her own, but she’s determined that she can do it.

Just when she’s at her final breaking point, she finds herself asking God for help. While things certainly aren’t smooth sailing from that point on, the Lord does bring people into her life to help her fight her spiritual and physical battles.

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe tells the tale of struggle, heartache, hope, and faith. It shows how the Lord will help us if we’re willing to ask for His help, and He can use a variety of methods to give us the help and hope we need.

The Higher Grounds Cafe Book Description:

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

About the Author:

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

The Higher Grounds Cafe Book Details:

  • Series: Heavenly
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718039777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718039776
  • Retail Price: $9.99 (softcover)
  • Digital and other editions available
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Valley Food Storage: Enchilada Beans & Rice

Enchilada Beans and Rice

Special thanks to Valley Food Storage for providing a sample meal for us to test in our home.

It’s hard to find long term food storage items that are not only gluten free but also on the healthy side. When you add in the fact that we want the food to taste good, it makes it even more difficult. Whether we’re putting aside food for emergencies, backpacking, or camping, we want to know that the food is at least fairly healthy, gluten free, and good tasting.

When I was asked it I would be interested in testing out one of the meals from Valley Food Storage, I headed over to their website and saw that they had a gluten free section. I admit that I was a little concerned when I saw they had the oatmeal in this section because I know that there are automatic concerns with oats for those who are gluten free due to cross contamination. Unless the oats have been tested to meet the standards set for gluten free oats, it’s not safe for those who need to be concerned with cross contamination. That being said, several of the other items in the gluten free section looked interesting, so we agreed to test out the Enchilada Beans & Rice.

Valley Food Storage Enchilada Beans and Rice Nutrition and Ingredient List

Before I go into our thoughts on the Enchilada Beans & Rice, I feel it is important to note the statement on the Valley Food Storage website regarding their gluten free products.

If you are looking for some food that is Gluten Free, check out our special Gluten free foods. Our products labeled as Gluten free are made with ingredients that contain no gluten.

*Please note, our facility is NOT an FDA approved Gluten Free environment.

Based upon the experiences of both my husband and daughter, I would have to say that the gluten free products are not safe for those with Celiac or those who have issues with cross contamination. They both had reactions from eating the Enchilada Beans & Rice. That being said, if you’re gluten free and don’t have issues with cross contamination, then this could be the types of products that will work well for you. The gluten free section has products that contain no gluten ingredients. Along those lines, they also have a dairy free selection of products.

Valley Food Storage Enchilada Beans and Rice

One of the things that drew me to this particular line of products is the fact that they are free of gmos, msg, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and hydrolyzed syrups. They use sea salt rather than table salt. From what I can see, the ingredients fall under the real foods category. While my ideal is organic, the ingredients here are the second best thing as their aren’t a lot of organic long term food storage meals on the market.

The Enchilada Beans & Rice were easy to make. You just bring 5 1/2 cups of water to a boil and then whisk in the contents of the packets. You then reduce the heat and cook for roughly 15 minutes. You’ll want to stir periodically to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the beans and rice are cooked to your liking, you’ll allow it to sit for a few minutes prior to serving. The seasoning blend makes the house smell so good.

I decided to serve our beans and rice in corn tortillas with a little cheddar cheese and lettuce, but you could easily serve it in a bowl, on nachos, or in a burrito. It’s a hearty dish with a good flavor profile that is not too spicey. The texture is surprisingly good. Overall, the dish tasted really good. While Munchkin and D weren’t able to continue eating it, I did enjoy more the following day. It heats up really well if you have any leftovers.

Based upon our experiences, I’d have no issue recommending the products from this company with the understanding that the products labeled for specific diets may not be suitable for someone who has issues with cross contamination. I love the fact that these products have a shelf life up to 25 years and come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They even allow you to request a free sample; you just pay shipping to have it delivered.

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Sweet Sixteen

Happy Birthday!

Somewhere along the way my baby grew up. It’s hard to believe that she’s now sixteen. Once she gets her hours in with her driving permit, she’ll be getting her license. She’s no longer a little girl, but she’ll always be my baby.

Sweet Sixteen

Her birthday started off with her opening some cards and presents. New headphones, which were needed due to her old ones falling apart, where quickly tested out. A much wanted Star Wars Lego set was met with a huge grin of delight.

Munchkin at Chick-fil-a

Then we were off to Chick-fil-a for a late lunch as that was what the birthday girl wanted for her special birthday meal. A trip to a thrift store was next on the list, and we found the perfect dress for her high school graduation. A few alterations needed to be made, but we knew it was the right dress for her. A few more needed shirts made their way to the checkout area with her.

Gluten Free Strawberry Cheesecake

A little later, we enjoyed some gluten free pizza at home while we watched a movie, and she worked on building her new Lego creation. We wrapped things up with some homemade gluten free cheesecake with strawberries that we picked up from the farmers market. (Munchkin wanted cheesecake instead of a traditional cake which was just fine with me.)

Pizza, Legos, and a Movie

It was a fun day of celebrating our sweet girl’s special day.

Finished Lego Star Wars At-At

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Fitness Friday: 21 Day Fix Week 1

21 Day Fix

I decided that is was time to get back in shape. I’ve had too many rough months suffering with migraines that had kept me from doing very much. When we were able to get out and explore, I found myself fatigued all too quickly. I started off by doing some workout routines through the XBox 360, but I realized that if I was going to get in shape by May, I needed to have some sort of set routine. I wanted something a little different that didn’t take up a huge amount of time each day. After some research, I settled on the 21 Day Fix program.

Last week, I started the 21 Day Fix program. Since I wasn’t going into the program to utilize it as a weight loss method, I decided to continue eating clean with a few treats here and there. I roughly followed the guidelines laid out in the program as it made me aware that I needed more protein in my diet. I made a few adjustments on portion sizes to fall more in line with the program. Ultimately, my goal was to get in shape, strengthen my core, and turn some fat into muscle.

This was the first time that I’ve done a program that involved exercising 7 days a week. I found myself tired and sore. In the past, I may or may not have completed the entire routine for the day, but this time, I was intent on completing the entire program. It meant that I, at times, did the modified version or had to do exercises more slowly, but I made it through each day.

I’ve now made it through the first week of the 21 day program. As is normal for me, I gained some weight before it returned to my normal weight. Week 1 – no weight loss. I did not tape prior to starting this, so I’m not sure if I lost any inches. While I didn’t originally plan on taping, I may go ahead and tape going into this week. We’ll see. I do feel like I’m getting stronger, and the soreness and stiffness isn’t lasting as long now. I still struggle with the cardio days due to my asthma. I’m hoping that will get better with time.

So far, I’m enjoying the program even if there are days it really kicks my butt. I look forward to seeing how I feel during and after week 2 since it will be my second time doing each of the routines.

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