Last week I had the honor of being part of a “Red Carpet Royalty” youth girls event at my dear friend Dayna’s house. Dayna is a youth leader at her church and she wanted to do something really special for the girls, where she made them feel like the royalty that they are, being God’s daughters! It was quite an amazing night, where we celebrated the unique beauty that God has place inside each one of us!
Here are some pictures from this incredible night! (A big thanks to Dayna for sharing the lovely photos from the evening as well!) I hope this post reminds you that every woman is truly beautiful and created special and unique by our creator!
The night started by the girls trying on and picking out a dress to wear. The dresses were lightly worn dresses that were donated. This allowed us to have a whole ‘wardrobe’ of dresses for the girls to pick from.
After the girls picked their dress, we did their hair and make up. The point of this was not to focus on the ‘external’ beauty, but we did want them to feel like it was a special night, and a little make up, dresses, and getting their hair done truly made them feel like it was a “red carpet night”
After we were all ready, we took pictures in Dayna’s studio. We each took a turn to write one word that describes our testimony!
To make the girls feel ‘extra’ special (and like the royalty they are) we even rented a limo for the evening, decked out with a red carpet! :)
We blasted Hillsong Young & Free and danced the whole way to the restaurant, (one of my favorite parts of the night!) :)
We ate at Mongolian BBQ, and had dessert at a frozen yogurt shop! Talk about fun!
The BEST part of entire night however was when we all came back to Dayna’s house and each of the ‘leaders’ (including myself) shared our testimonies as the girls gathered around and listened. It was pretty amazing because out of the six leaders, we each had an entirely different testimony that could potentially reach into each girls heart in a unique way.
I personally started my testimony off by saying “If I could talk to my 16 year old self, I would say…” Because, boy do I wish I could go back and tell my 16 year old self what is really important in this life! It was amazing to be able to share these bits of encouragement and wisdom with these girls, and to pray with them at the end of the night.
Overall, it was such a blessing to pour into each one of these young women, knowing that each one of them are precious daughters of the King of Kings! I hope this post blessed, encouraged, and even inspired you guys to reach out to young women in your own lives and pour into them in some way! Just think of what an amazing thing it is to share what God has taught you to the next generation! Now that my friends is the power of a testimony at work! :)
Here are my top 10 tips for making workouts more enjoyable:
To get you started, here is a fun & motivating partner workout!
|Circuit #||Partner #1||Partner #2|
|One||20 Squat Jumps||High Knees until Partner #1 is Done|
|Two||20 Push Ups||Mountain Climbers until Partner #1 is Done|
|Three||20 Reverse Stepping Lunges (DB in hand optional)||Jump Rope (imaginary JR is OK) until Partner #1 is Done|
|Four||20 Tricep Dips on Bench/Chair||Plank until Partner #1 is Done|
|Five||20 Lunge Jumps||Burpees (up-downs) until Partner #1 is Done|
|Six||20 Wide Hand Placement Push Ups||Jumping Jacks until Partner #1 is Done|
|Now do Partner #2 Circuit||Now do Partner #1 Circuit|
The last recipe contest I held here at Dashing Dish was the protein shake competition. It was a huge success, and I loved hearing the creative recipe variations you guys came up with! Since it is summer, and we seem to have a few extra hours ‘added’ to our days, I thought, why not hold another Recipe Contest!
As you all know, I love my protein shakes, but recently I have been equally enjoying my overnight protein oatmeal! The great thing about overnight oatmeal is that you can prepare it well in advance, it is portable, it sticks with you well until lunch time, and let’s face it- its pretty delicious! With that being said, I would love to see some of the creative spins that you put on this wonderfully delicious and easy breakfast! I can’t wait to hear what you guys come up with!
Prizes: The winner will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card and a publication of the winning recipe on Dashing Dish! Runner up will receive their choice of a Dashing Dish Meal Plan.
How to enter: Using my protein overnight oatmeal base (listed below), simply add your own ingredients and flavor variations to create a flavor and name of your very own oatmeal and submit the entry form below.
Base for protein overnight oatmeal:
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, be creative, and most importantly, have fun!
The contest will be closed on July 25, 2014 and I will announce the winner/runner up on Facebook and Twitter. The winner/runner up will also be notified by email, so be sure to include that with your entry!
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.~ Proverbs 4:23
Proverbs 4:23 is both instruction and explanation. God first instructs us to guard our hearts. Then He explains why it is so important: because whatever is in our hearts will “determine the course” of our lives. In other words, whatever we put into our hearts will impact our lives in one way or another. That is why it is so important to make careful choices about what we let come into our eyes and ears, because they are the gateway to our hearts (Matthew 6:22).
But God doesn’t mean we need to live isolated from this world, tucked away so that we don’t have to worry about encountering negative input, but we do need to think twice about what we watch, read, and listen to if we want to live in a way that honors and glorifies God. Paul offered us this very practical advice for guarding our hearts “Whatever is true, whatever is noble,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
Is there an area in your life where you can begin to guard your heart more carefully? If so, I encourage you to submit that to the Lord today.
Prayer: Lord, please help me guard my heart from everything in this world that would pull me away from You. and to fill it with praiseworthy thoughts that glorify You. And I ask You, Lord, to keep me on the course of life that You have planned for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Traveling can be so refreshing. It is a time away from the every day ‘routine’ and a time to rest and relax! This can also mean a time of seriously getting off track when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To some to degree, this can be a good thing- I always think it is good to change things up from time to time, so I take this opportunity to try some new foods, enjoy a few treats, and shake up my workouts!
However, if you don’t plan ahead, it can definitely go from being a good ‘change’ to a bad one, especially if you find yourself completely skimping out on fiber, water, and indulge in too much sugar and processed foods. Without some sort of balance, I can tell you from past experience that it is only a matter of time before you start to notice that your body (especially your digestive system) will not be happy!
For that reason, I always make sure I plan ahead when I travel and bring some healthy snacks and options with me. I hope this inspires you guys to plan ahead and pack some of your own favorite healthy treats on your next vacation! In the end, I can promise that your body will thank you!
For snacks I like to bring fruit, particularly apples because they are high in fiber and lower in sugar. They also keep fresh for a long time. I also like to bring a small bag of baby carrots. I am not a huge fan of eating them once they are warm, so I try to eat those first when I’m on a long car ride, or I bring a small cooler or lunch bag if possible. I also enjoy small 100 calorie bags of popcorn on trips, because let’s face it, sometimes you need something salty and crunchy! I found this amazing kettle corn at Trader Joes, and it is amazing! I always try to stock up on it if I know I’m going to be traveling.
Whenever I travel, I try to pack some good sources of protein that are portable. The best option I have found when I don’t have access to a cooler or fridge is protein powder and peanut flour. I also bring oats with me and make peanut butter protein oatmeal with just a little water, oats, stevia, peanut flour, and protein powder! You would be amazed at how good it tastes and how much it fills you up!
I also enjoy protein bars when I travel, because there are times when you need protein, and fast! I like Mojo, Quest, Chocolite, and Think Thins! The main thing to look at with bars is the calories, protein, and sugar! I always check to make sure the calories are not much over 200 per bar, the sugar is less than 10 grams, and the protein is around 10-20 grams per bar.
I don’t always bring wrap bread with me, but if I am going somewhere that I can prepare my own food (and I will have a kitchen and fridge), then I like to bring a few packs of high fiber wraps with me. Wrap sandwiches are great for packing up in a cooler and taking with you to the beach for example! Jospeph’s and La Tortilla are my favorite brands. High fiber bran crackers are also a great thing to have around for a quick snack! I like to put a little peanut butter and low sugar jelly on them or some tuna salad!
I love to bring a water bottle with me just about everywhere I go. I like to fill it up with ice water and carry a few all natural drink mixes around in my purse! That way I always stay hydrated, without filling up on chemicals, sugar, or calories that are in most beverages!
If possible, I like to make a batch of my homemade muffins to bring with me. I love bringing muffins to snack on because they taste delicious and are packed with protein and fiber to keep me satisfied for a long time! They also stay good for about 1 week, which is perfect for a trip!
And last but not least, I do like to bring a few different flavors of gum. Now, I am the first to admit that there are chemicals in sugar free gum, but to me, if you chew it in moderation, I feel like it’s better than chewing on sugary gum anytime, especially when it comes to my teeth. I like the dessert gums by Extra, Orbit and Trident flavors!
These are just a few ideas of some of my favorite travel snacks and treats! Of course, it really depends on the type of trip you are going on, how you are traveling, and where you are going, but I almost always try to plan ahead and pack accordingly. Being prepared and planning ahead is one of the best things you could do when traveling! I also always carry stevia packets in my purse (I like to use them in my coffee), and I try to always have a protein bar in my purse as well just in case!
Overall, when I am on vacation, I try to be really flexible and enjoy new things…That is what vacation is about after all! However, I try to pick healthier options, and get active in some way every day! If you are traveling this summer, I hope this provided some ideas for your next trip!
If you are looking to find any of these items, many of them can be found on my Favorite Products List!
Happy Thursday Everyone! Last week (June 17th to be exact) was my 29th birthday.I can honestly say my 20′s were a time of great pruning, weeding, growing my roots down deep in Christ, and growing, growing, growing! I am looking forward to continuing my race, running each day with my eyes fixed on the author of my life~ Jesus! The more that I fall in love with Jesus, the more that I want to give my life as an offering to Him!
I wanted to share a few of the photos from my birthday bash. I don’t know about you guys, but in my family we have a few traditions for birthdays, one of which is my ice cream cake! I make everyone their own personalized cake based on their favorite flavors each year! We also do grilled kabobs of some sort for everyones special day! I love birthdays for that very reason…Spending time with family, carrying on traditions!
This year I got a special surprise that I wasn’t expecting at all, which was a fully decorated office by my sister Sarah! It was one of the greatest birthday gifts I have ever received to say the least! I came home from my parents house and my husband said, “Hey Kate, what’s that in your office!?!” I looked in and my jaw dropped! I said that I felt like I was on a home decorating show! :) Thank you Sarah!!! I’m so blessed by the beautiful atmosphere she created in this room that I spend so much time in!
She got me a recipe binder to keep some of my favorite recipes in, which is such a treasure!
The next day, on my actual birthday, I woke up to yet another suprise from my other sister Emily! Talk about birthday blessings, and amazing sisters! :) She bought me some of my favorite little things!
For breakfast I had a protein shake of course! Since it was my birthday, I had to top it with some Redi Whip and chocolate rice cereal (my husbands) to make it extra special of course!
For lunch we went to Cheesecake Factory, which is one of my favorite restaurants! It just opened a few months ago here in Michigan, and it is so popular that the wait is 6+ hours at times! Luckily, since we went on a weekday for lunch we got right in!
For lunch my sister Emily and I had the Mexican Tortilla Salad! (This salad is on their Skinnylicious menu, which I love! It has tons of flavorful, yet lower calorie options.)
Cheesecake Factory is located in a mall, so of course we had to go shopping! I love Sephora when I am in the mood to play with fun makeup and products! Who doesn’t love exploring all the wonderful lipgloss colors out there after all!?! Although I always end up trying on a bunch of stuff on my hand, I almost always leave with nothing, unless it’s something I actually need, (thank you Dave Ramsey!) ;)
After leaving the mall we had some time to kill before dinner, so of course we had to make a Frozen Yogurt stop! It was my birthday after all- this is a birthday must on a birthday in my opinion! ;)
Afterwards we went back to my parents house where I got to sit and relax while my sisters and mom prepared the dinner! I obviously LOVE to cook, but it was nice to just enjoy time with the family for once!
And I got to spend a little extra time cuddling this cutie-pa-tootie, (my parent’s dog Izzy)! ;)
For dinner we had the traditional grilled chicken and veggie kabobs, baked whole grain pita, and a great big salad! My faves in the summer!
After dinner I opened gifts…One of which was a Dessert Bullet from my parents! This gift is right up my alley! It is a frozen yogurt maker where you basically grind up frozen fruit and Greek yogurt to make your own ice cream blend! Talk about YUM!!! I can’t wait to experiment with this fun kitchen gadget and see what kind of recipes I whip up!
I also got a few more fun things for my new office, and some really cute Asics tennis shoes from my sisters!
My husband got me a really cute sweatshirt and dress, which was pretty darn good for a guy to pick out by himself I must say!
For dessert, I had to make the peanut butter ice cream cake of course! There is no other flavor that tops the combination of peanut butter and chocolate in my opinion! :) Luckily, most of my family also agrees!
It was a pretty darn good ending to a great day! :)
And just when I thought it was over… My husband had one last surprise for me! This past weekend he took me to Sur La Table for a cooking class! It has been a dream of mine for a long time to start teaching cooking classes out of my own home, but I really wanted to attend one first so that I could get some tips and ideas on how to structure a class.
My hubby signed us up for a class called, Baking with Seasonal Fruits. We ended up making a total of four dishes in a hour long class!
Our instructor, Erin was amazing! She was so cute and hilarious, which made it all the more fun!
We made a strawberry shortcake, a peach cobbler, blueberry muffins, and strawberry tart! None of it was actually healthy, but it certainly gave me lots of great ideas, and got me really excited to teach people how to cook and bake using simple healthy ingredients!
After the class we got to try some of the dishes we made. Everything tastes more delicious and satisfying when you make something from scratch yourself!
This was such an amazing experience, and I highly recommend everyone from the beginning home cook to the experienced chef. It was so much fun!
It was a wonderful way to celebrate the last year in my 20′s! Thank you for all the birthday wishes by the way! I felt beyond blessed, and my heart was full!!! xo Katie
If you haven’t already heard me rave about meal planning, I certainly encourage you to check out this post on how-to meal plan for the week. Making lunches ahead of time, (aka meal prepping) is one of the best things you can do in my opinion. It saves you time, and if you are used to eating out for lunch, it will certainly save you money (and calories) in the long run! One of my favorite things to prep ahead of time for lunches is salads. They are quick, easy, and delicious! The only problem with preparing them ahead of time is that they can get soggy if you don’t pack them up correctly….So I decided to share some of my favorite tips on how to prep fresh, crisp, and tasty salads ahead of time for the week!
I start preparing my salads by planning what type of salads I will be making that week. I am someone who could eat the same thing for a few days without getting tired of it, so I generally plan to have the same ingredients on my salads for that week. (I generally make about 4 salads per week, and the rest of the week I plan to eat leftovers from some of my dinners). After I plan out what type of salads I will be having, (as well as what other meals I will be making for the week), I make a list and go grocery shopping for my ingredients.
When I get home, I start preparing the meat/proteins for my salad. This is usually chicken- either grilled, baked, or cooked in the crockpot, and some times hard boiled eggs. Other sources of protein/fats that I like to add to salads are chickpeas, nuts, feta cheese, shaved parmesan, and avocado, just to name a few!
While my meat is cooking, I wash my fruits and vegetables, and lay them out on a big kitchen towel, which makes it easy to wash them all at once.
I then dry them individually, and slice them up. (You can put them in separate containers at this point, or if you don’t want to dirty dishes, you can just keep them on separate piles on the clean kitchen towel.)
Then, once my meat is cooked (and cooled), and my veggies are washed, dried, and chopped, I am ready to assemble my salads! The key here is to put the ingredients in layers (I like medium size mason jars, which I bought in a 12 pack at Walmart for a really good deal, or Tupperware/sealed containers of some sort. Layering will ensure that none of your ingredients get mushed which would make them bruised, soggy, and wet.
I recommend starting with your meat, and beans if you are using them. Next, start layering your vegetables, starting with the most firm vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, carrots, celery, etc. Then layer the cheese on if you are using any, and end your softest vegetables and fruit at the top. Also, if you are using nuts, hard boiled eggs, or avocado, I find that these are best on the very top because they tend to get soggy.
Now that you have your salad ‘toppings’ prepped, it’s time to prep the heart of the salad- the lettuce! I like to divide anywhere from 3-4 cups of romaine lettuce, spinach, (or shredded cabbage if I’m doing Asian inspired salads) among a few different Tupperware containers (depending on how many salads I am making that week). I like to package the lettuce in individual medium-big size containers (4-6 cup size) that will allow for some extra room at the top to pour and mix in my toppings when I am ready to eat my salad. I also pack up a few small containers (1/4-1/2 cup size) with dressing. (Please note that you don’t have to prep your lettuce ahead of time, as you may not even have room in your fridge to do so! The good thing is, throwing the lettuce in a container in the morning only takes a matter of seconds, and when your toppings are already pre-packed, the hard part is already done!)
Now to put it all together. When you are ready to enjoy your salad, simply open your jar/container with your salad ingredients, and your large Tupperware filled with lettuce, and pour the toppings and dressing on! If you want, you can put the lid back on the large Tupperware, and give your salad a shake to mix everything together, and enjoy!
Large Baking Pan- Where to Find: Home Goods, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams & Sonoma, etc.
Glass Nesting Mixing Bowls- Where to Find: Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams & Sonoma, etc.
Mini Spatula- Where to Find: Home Goods, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams & Sonoma, etc.
Ice Cream Scooper- Where to Find: Home Goods, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams & Sonoma, etc.
Sharp Kitchen Knife- Where to Find: Williams & Sonoma, etc. Brands to Consider: Lower-priced: Chicago Cutlery, Forschner / Higher-priced: Wüsthof, Henckels
Hand Held Mandolin Slicer- Where to Find: Home Goods, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc.
Parchment Paper Muffin Liners- Where to Find: Kroger, etc.
Vegetable Spiralizer- Williams & Sonoma
Vitamix Blender- Williams & Sonoma
If you don’t want to invest in a Vitamix, I also recommend:
Ninja Blender, Kitchen Aid Blender, or a Magic Bullet
I am BLESSED and encouraged to share this beautiful word from my good friend Sarah Shaffer! She is an amazing woman whom I met through health coaching, and God is now using her to help other women find freedom! She is a mom of two, and here she shares some practical and real-life tips on balancing it all, and staying mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy as a stay at home mom! (Even if you aren’t a mom, there is such rich wisdom on overcoming food related temptations!) I hope it blesses you guys as much as it did me!
It’s Hard to be at Home
By: Sarah Shaffer
When my daughter was born four years ago, my husband and I took a huge leap of faith, one of the biggest in our life together. We prayerfully decided that it was time for me to leave a successful career in public relations and marketing to stay at home full-time with our kids. When I left my career, there were things I expected. I expected to buy more yoga pants, and fewer heels. I expected to have more playdates and fewer lunch meetings. I expected children songs to become embedded in my mind, and to embrace the routine of picking up toys over and over again. However, one thing that I did not expect, or adequately prepare for was the isolation that can come from being at home. While I considered (and still do) the ability to stay at home a huge blessing, the fact is, that it can be very lonely. Though I had battled eating disorders for most of my adult life (specifically binge eating), I was not prepared for how much more severe it would become for me as a stay-at-home mom. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that my binge eating was getting out of control and that the Enemy was getting a tighter grip on me in that area. I remember desperately crying out to the Lord asking Him to reveal ways for me to avoid eating inappropriately, out of isolation and loneliness. He is always faithful! Almost instantly I felt hope as He inspired thoughts that would help set and keep me free.
My prayer is that the Lord would use my struggle to help set other women free. I pray that what the Lord has graciously revealed to me over the past four years will bless you. If you are struggling today, you are not alone and the Lord who sees knows your pain. He will free and restore you, it’s His promise!
These are just some of the ways the Lord has shown me how to live in freedom:
• Pray! Something I asked of the Lord when I cried out to Him was that He give me a quick, easy, instant replacement for thoughts of food and eating. I knew that in the chaos of my day, it had to be simple or it wouldn’t be done. His response was, “pray for someone else”. The most powerful way that the lord helped me overcome eating out of loneliness or isolation, was to immediately shift my focus to praying for someone else. How powerful! Not only was the Lord keeping me from my own sin, but calling me to be more effective for the Kingdom! “Is anyone among you is suffering? Let him pray!” James 5:13
• Rest! I am a doer, I feel more fulfilled when I’m accomplishing something. This was something I had to work through (and do daily) with the Lord. I would run myself ragged trying to accomplish tasks around the house. After leaving my career, I no longer had a boss to report to, I wasn’t getting performance reviews, and I wasn’t getting promotions or accolades. As a result, I felt that my value could only be measured by what I had done. In my mind, if the house was clean, meals were prepared, and everything and everyone smelled, and looked, and acted nice I was successful. I was also exhausted. Rest was a rare indulgence. As I worked myself into a weary state, I would become weak and more vulnerable to attack. The Lord revealed to me that it’s not only okay to rest, but it’s critical to keeping me strong against attack from the Enemy.
• Enjoy a healthy indulgence! Flipping through a magazine is one of my favorite things to do. For me, reading a magazine is a luxury. So, when I’m tempted to fill myself in inappropriate ways, I’ve learned that it’s okay to luxuriate like that. I’ve also learned that enjoying a “treat” that won’t cause me to stumble can help me avoid eating when I’m not hungry. I love a club soda was fresh lime; it makes me feel like I’m on vacation. Or, an iced coffee in the afternoon. Enjoy it and offer praise for that time to “fill your tank”!
• Run away!!! One of the most powerful tools I’ve learned to use are my feet! When the attack is fierce, my defense needs to be stronger as well. Sometimes I just need to literally turn off the lights in the kitchen, and run from the temptation! There have been times that the pull has been so strong I’ve even had to walk out of the house! “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Cor 10:13
• Find your people! On the days when I feel the temptation to binge coming on, I need to be purposeful to be outside of my house. It’s those days that I schedule a play date with friends, or spend the morning at the park surrounded by the sights and sounds of other people, or even just spend the morning walking around the mall. Being intentional about staying out of the house and surrounding myself with others really helps mitigate the battle.
• Sing! It’s hard for a mouth filled with praise and worship to be sinning. When I feel tempted to fill my mouth with food inappropriately, I purposefully start praising (and praying). Almost immediately I feel my soul fill and the presence of the Lord fill the lonely spaces. “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!” Psalm 104;33
• Get support! The Bible tells us that iron sharpens iron!! Friends, I cannot emphasis enough how critical this point is. CRITICAL! Please, if you haven’t before, ask God to give you someone, just one person that you can depend on and be accountable to. Second only to prayer and worship, this has been the most vital to my success! On the days, and in the moments when you feel alone and tempted to fill that void with food, you’ll have someone to pray for you. I have been blessed beyond measure to have had an accountability partner for the past four years! Almost daily we touch base to make sure that we are filling our souls with the Word of God, disciplining our bodies with both proper eating and exercise, and asking for specific prayer needs. Katie’s health coaching is an incredible resource to help fill this need! I absolutely would not be where I am today without it! “But instead warn admonish, urge, and encourage one another every day, as long as it is called today, that none of you may be hardened into settled rebellion by the deceitfulness of sin by the fraudulence, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him.” Hebrews 3:13
It’s almost Memorial Day…Which means it’s almost Summer Time! What a Better way to Celebrate the Coming of Summer than a Recipe Round-Up of Summer & BBQ inspired Dishes?
I Hope this Round-Up of Cool & Refreshing Summer Time Meals, Snacks & Treats Inspires You to Get Healthy in an Enjoyable Way this Summer!