Whether you are looking for a healthier holiday treat to bring to a party, or you want something delicious and healthy to enjoy with your family, here are 25 of my favorite Christmas treats that are just as good for you as they taste!
The Fruit of Self Control
The holidays are officially upon us, which means a time for gathering with family and friends, and a time for feasts and treats! This wonderful time of year can also be a time of temptation to overspend, overeat, and over indulge. This may seem harmless in many ways, until January comes, and the reality of bills and weight gain sets in.
If this sounds familiar, I have good news…It doesn’t have to be that way this year, or ever again for that matter! If you have received Christ as your savior, then the Spirit of God lives inside of you. When he came to live in your heart, He came bearing gifts…a “fruit basket”, if you will! The fruits that the Spirit of God brought with Him are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). That means that each one of us is able to have self-control in any situation if we choose to be led by the spirit.
God’s Kind of Self Control
Now, before I say anything else on this topic, I do want to clarify a few important things relating to this topic of self-control that could easily be taken out of context. First of all, I will say that I know from personal experience that for some people ‘self-control’ can be taken to dangerous levels when it gets over into a ‘controlling’ mindset.
If you have found that this is the case with you, be sure that you are aware that you are following the Spirit of God inside of you, and not just trying to ‘control’ things on your own. This can and will always lead to failure and can even be dangerous because God never intended us to depend on our own strength. Following the Spirit of God will produce ‘self control’ in a balanced way and it will never be based out of fear or obsession. Remember, god calls us to be balanced (1 Peter 5:8), which means we can enjoy all things in moderation, which means enjoying a cookie at times!
Not by Might but By the Spirit of God
Now that we got those two very important points established, you may be saying to yourself, “I just don’t have self-control in the area of eating and exercise, especially around the holidays. Every time I try to resist the Christmas cookies, it is only a matter of time before I end up eating the entire batch!” Or, in the area of exercise, you may be thinking to yourself, “I hate exercising. The moment that I begin an exercise program I do good for a couple days, and then fall off the wagon completely! There is no use in even starting!”
This, my friends, is where self-control comes in! Think about it…no one can make you eat something, or force you to sit on the couch instead of exercising! Only YOU have the ability to make the choice to be led by your ‘flesh’ or the ‘spirit’. When you make the choice to be led by the Spirit of God, the fruits of the spirit will then be produced naturally. It won’t be long that the fruit of self-control will be so abundant in your life that you won’t even have a problem saying no to that second or third cookie or yes to being active!
The great thing is, He is the one who strengthens us to walk in the Spirit! Ephesians 3:16 says “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” This is just one of the many promises that the lord will strengthen us by His Spirit when we depend on His power, rather than our own might.
Why Use Self Control?
Not only do we have the ability, but God’s word instructs us to use self-control! 1 Peter 13 says, “Think clearly and exercise self-control.”Proverbs 25:28 tells us that, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” The Word even talks specifically about using self control in relation to food. Proverbs 25:16 says, “Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!” It sounds to me that God wants us to use this gift that He has given us for our own peace and protection.
In addition, If we want to fulfill the purpose that God has for us here on this earth, we need to be in good health! In order to run the race God has set before us with full strength and vigor, we need to use wisdom on how we treat our bodies. This includes getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, and getting regular exercise.
How do We Draw out the Fruit of Self Control?
Now, all this being said, how do we actually apply all of this? It comes down to making the choice to submit to God and be led by the Spirit of God that is in us every single day. (Romans 12:1) And believe me, it is a daily choice! Another way to do this is to build ourselves up in the spirit so that we do not easily give into the desires of our flesh. This can be done by praying, fasting, and studying and meditating on the Word of God (Romans 12:2). When we do this, the fruit of self-control will naturally be produced. We never have to ‘make’ the fruit appear or muster it up in our own strength, it will just grow as we grow in the Lord. The more we are led by the Spirit, the more that fruit will be produced…It’s that simple!
So in order to be led by the Spirit, we must first of all believe that He is inside of us and that He is leading and guiding us into all truth (John 16:13). By putting our trust in what God says about us in His word, making the choice to listen to that still small voice inside of us, and choosing to lean on His strength, we will walk by the Spirit. It can take some time to learn to walk by the Spirit if you are accustomed to giving your flesh whatever it asks for. Some practical tips on strengthening your ‘spiritual muscles’ are praying, spending time in the Word, and fasting- which is one of the most powerful forms of denying the flesh.
Now please hear me when I say it may not be easy to apply all of this, especially at first. The Bible tells us that, “Discipline is never pleasant at the time, but that in time it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”(Hebrews 12:11). However, once you have made the choice to consistently be led by the Spirit, the fruit of self-control will be so abundant in your life that you will find that it is easy to resist eating that whole plate of Christmas cookies that was at one time screaming your name!
Progress Not Perfection
Having said all of this, it is important to note that we are all on a journey, and none of us are perfect. We will all have moments where we do not walk perfectly in self-control. So, what do we do if we do slip up and eat more than we should have, or one too many cookies? Do we have to go around guilty and depressed? Absolutely not! After all, the Bible tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Therefore, when we do “miss the mark” so to speak, we simply repent before the Lord and keep running our race with our eyes fixed on Jesus, rather than our past mistakes.
It is also important to note that our failures do not change the way that God sees us. The Word tells us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”(Romans 5:8). It is important to remember that God’s love for each one of us is unconditional and unchanging. He knows each of us individually and loves us with a love that has no beginning and no end, simply because He IS Love.
So, the message for today is that if you have found yourself trying to ‘work up’ self-control in the past only to find that you always seem to ‘give in’, just know that the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to lead and guide you in all areas of your life! All you have to do is make the choice to walk with Him and follow His leading! As you make the choice to be led by the Spirit, His fruit will grow and mature inside of you, and you will find that self-control will come without any effort! Remember, the Holy Spirit who is inside us has everything we need to live a victorious life. All we have to do is make the choice daily to believe this and choose to submit to His leading!
Prayer: Lord, I ask that you would help me to see my body as your dwelling place. Strengthen me to be disciplined and well balanced in order to properly take care of my body. Help me to make healthy choices and to be wise enough to know when I am no longer operating in the fruit of self control. Help me to be motivated to exercise and to get enough sleep and rest so I can have the energy needed to run my race with strength and endurance! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
For more devotionals like this, be sure to check out my new devotional book: Devotions for a Healthier You!
If you have ordered a copy of my cookbook or devotional book for a Christmas gift… You can print off one of these gift-print outs so your loved one’s will know what is on the way shortly after Christmas day! :)
Click on the image below for the PDF downloadable gift print out for the Dashing Dish Cookbook!
Click on the image below for the PDF downloadable gift print out for the Dashing Dish Devotional Book!
The holidays are a special time of year filled with family, friends, and seasonal treats. Here are a few tips on enjoying the holidays in a balanced way!
1. Choose a Healthy Alternative- Eating healthy year round, (yes even during the holidays) can be done! It doesn’t mean giving up the foods you enjoy most, but simply swapping them with a healthier alternative! In fact, once you do so, you will notice how good you feel, and I can promise you will wonder why you ever even enjoyed those sugary treats to begin with!
2. Pick and Choose your Treats- The holidays are filled with special treats that only come around this season. There is nothing wrong with enjoying one or two of your grandma’s favorite cookies, or a piece of your mom’s famous pie…But the problem comes when people enjoy every holiday treat that is put in front of them. If you simply think ahead of time about what you REALLY want to enjoy this holiday season, it will keep you from having to work extra hard to take off those holiday treats in January! Plus, the added bonus is that you will truly savor and enjoy every bite of those holiday treats you do have much more when you only have a few of them!
3. Be Prepared- One way to prevent overeating is by eating small frequent meals throughout the day, and always having a protein rich snack before heading off to parties or holiday dinners. That way, when you finally sit down to eat a meal, you will be able to properly pay attention to your body’s hunger cues because you won’t be overly famished to begin with.
4. The party is about MORE than what is on your PLATE- Food is an element of a celebration, but not the defining factor, or the most important thing. If you keep this in mind when you’re on your way to a party, you can remind yourself that spending time with family and friends is the highlight of the event. This helps take the focus off the food and puts it back on the things that matter most.
5. It’s OK to say NO- During the holidays, many people are offering foods left and right as a gesture of love. I have learned that If I’m truly full, it is ok to be honest and politely say, “No thank you”. Most people will respect you when you politely say no. The great thing about this is, it allows you to say yes to the things you truly do enjoy this time of year!
6. BRING your OWN dish to pass- If you bring your own dish to pass, you can bring something that is tasty and healthy! The best part is, Dashing Dish offers tons of seasonal eats that are just as rich and delicious as the traditional dish, so no one will even know its healthy until you tell them!
7. Learn to Bounce Back- I find that one of the greatest downfalls when it comes to overeating is that it sets most people on a dangerous slippery slope. If you do overeat- don’t make that mistake! Remember, it is not one meal that will make you unhealthy so don’t let it get you in a defeated mindset! Just make the simple choice to bounce back. Start the next day by being active and make the choice to get right back on track with a healthy lifestyle! That is what balance is all about after all!
Add Leftover Turkey and Veggies to any of these Dishes. Simply Swap Out Shredded Chicken for Turkey!
I have big news! I took the suggestions and feedback from you guys and created three new meal plans that were designed to best suit your needs! I also designed them to serve both two and four people, so they are easy to adjust to your family’s needs!
If you order a new meal plan any time from November 25th-30th, you will receive a discount for 10% OFF ANY meal plan you purchase using the code: GIVETHANKS
Here are the three new meal plans being offered:
Month 4 Meal Plan: This all new Dashing Dish meal plan features a month’s worth of unique and fresh recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts, and includes a weekly grocery list and calendar to keep you organized. This month was designed for those who love to cook! There are no leftovers or ‘dinners out’ in this meal plan.
Quick and Easy Dinners: This Dashing Dish meal plan includes a month’s worth of dinner recipes that are fast and easy to prepare. It features a weekly grocery list and calendar to keep you organized. This is the best meal plan choice for those who are busy but want to get a healthy dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time.
Crockpot Dinners: This Dashing Dish meal plan includes a month’s worth of crockpot dinner recipes that are fast and easy to prepare, and the crockpot does the cooking for you. It features a weekly grocery list and calendar to keep you organized. This is the best meal plan choice for those who find that crockpot cooking works best for their lifestyle.
Also, if you purchase a meal plan in this time frame, you will be automatically be entered to win a signed copy of the Dashing Dish Devotional; Devotions for a Healthier You! On December 1st, I will announce the three lucky winners of the Dashing Devotional Giveaway, and ensure you receive them before Christmas!
Here are some ideas for some delicious (and secretly nutritious) appetizers, sides, and desserts for the biggest meal of the year!
First Let’s Start with Some Favorites from Previous Years:
And Now for Some New:
Stay Tuned for Even More Thanksgiving Recipes in the Next Couple of Weeks on Dashing Dish!
This at home Turkey Burn Circuit workout is perfect for this busy time of year! Each circuit can be done once or three times through, depending on how much time you have- right at home, using your body weight!
|20 Jumping Jacks|
10 Alternating Front Kicks
|40 Jumping Jacks|
20 Alternating Front Kicks
|50 Jumping Jacks
30 Alternating Front Kicks
10 Alternating Lunges
20 Alternating Lunges
|25 Squat Jumps
20 Alternating Lunge Jumps
|30 Second Plank Hold|
10 Tricep Dips on Chair
|60 Second Plank Hold|
20 Tricep Dips on Chair
|60 Second Walking Plank
30 Tricep Dips on Chair (alternating one leg in the air, one leg on the ground)
|30 Second Wall Sit|
20 Alternating Knee Raises
|60 Second Wall Sit|
20 High Knees
|60 Second Wall Sit (alternating one leg in the air, one leg on the ground)
40 High Knees
|10 Push Ups (modified)|
10 Mountain Climbers
|20 Push Ups (modified)|
20 Mountain Climbers
|25 Push Ups (regular)
40 Mountain Climbers
|Repeat 1-3 times through||Repeat 1-3 times through||Repeat 1-3 times through|
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.~Proverbs 22:6
If your family is anything like ours, busy is the word that seems to describe your schedule most of the time. Something I’ve really taken to the Lord lately is my concern over busyness pushing out time for my kids to enjoy time with the Lord. My heart’s desire is that my kids will learn early to love their time with the Lord, to desire it and to prioritize it. Of course, I have to model that for them, but I really needed the Lord to show me ways for THEM to spend time with Him amidst their busy schedules. He’s been so faithful, I hope some of the ideas God’s given me bless your family too.
Homework – my son attends public school so he don’t have bible time, but he does have homework! He is required to read for 40 minutes per week. So, the Lord showed me to make his reading time his Bible time. First thing in the morning at breakfast, he reads to us for 10 minutes from his bible or a daily devotion. He is meeting his homework requirements, improving his reading skills, hiding God’s work in his heart first thing in the morning, and it’s been an unexpected blessing to me too! I get something out of HIS time with the Lord every day!
Technology – Admittedly, I am not a huge technology person. I timidly tip-toed into the Apple store when I could no longer deny that I may in fact be the sole surviving flip-phone owner. However, I do love that technology makes the Word of God so accessible! Blessed are those who HEAR the Word and obey it. My kids love to listen to the Word before bed, it’s a great way for them to wind down and to cover their minds and hearts before they fall asleep. My daughter is only four, so she does best with a Bible Stick (BibleStick KIDZ Bible is available at www.faithcomesbyhearing.com), an amazing little tool that’s simple to use, and she LOVES it. My son uses an Ipod so I can download so many amazing options for him to enjoy. Some of our favorites are:
Ultimately, my prayer is that my kids will seek out God’s word because they LOVE it, because they desire it and because it truly is alive and real in their lives. I am so thankful for God’s creativity and faithfulness to provide fun ways for our kids to be led into all truth as they hide His word in their hearts. I hope your family is as blessed by this as we have been. xo Sarah
In today’s society, women have so many messages coming at them, making many them feel inadequate in some way. Although these messages seem to be shouting at us daily, I believe there is a simple, yet powerful answer to overcome these feelings of not being ‘enough’, which is to simply be thankful!
This year I decided to hold another 21-day challenge at Dashing Dish, but this time around I decided to make the focus on being thankful for the good things the Lord has done in our lives!
God has given us so many unique talents, gifts, and abilities in order to bless others, raise families, and glorify the Lord. So, why not make a conscious effort to give thanks every day for 21 days!?
Starting November 1st, I want to challenge my readers during one of the busiest seasons of the year to focus on the blessings in their life. It can be something big, or small, or even something you are thankful for related to your health and/or body! The challenge will go for 21 days (ends on November 21st) and hopefully will last a lifetime (statistics prove it takes 21 days to form a habit). I pray this challenge will inspire you to focus on the things in your life that you can be thankful for!
The winner of the challenge will receive a Dashing Dish Favorite Things Basket! This basket will be filled with tons of my favorite goodies, which include; 3 containers of protein powder and protein bars from Designer Whey, Peanut Flour, Nu Naturals Stevia, a custom made apron from Chelsea Made Aprons ($100 value), and a $100 Visa Gift Card!
There are three ways to Enter: Share a picture of something you are thankful for on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and tag or mention @DashingDish or #DashingDish. Every day that you share, it counts as an entry and increases your chance to win!
For accountability and support: You can join the Facebook 21 Day Dashing Dish Give Thanks Challenge Group! This group is for anyone involved in the Dashing Dish 21 Day Challenge! It is a place where we can support, encourage, and pray for one another to focus on the good things God has done in our lives! Sarah Shaffer will be posting in this group as well, and she and I will be praying for you daily! You can share pictures, or whatever it is you are thankful for here as well!
Remember! The 21-Day Challenge begins November 1st and ends November 21st! I will be doing this challenge along with you guys, and I’m so excited to start this journey with you!
(Please note – This challenge is limited to US citizens only, due to shipping purposes.)