This year, I tried a new “strategy” to tackle school lunches. It’s worked so well I thought I’d share it with you. My son is in second grade, so I felt like he was ready to start taking over his own lunch packing. I knew though that in order for it to be a positive and joyful experience for both of us, I needed to have a plan that we could stick to. I wanted it to be easy, quick, fun and healthy. Not only was this a chance to hand over an age appropriate responsibility, but also an opportunity to begin teaching him early how important it is to make food choices that nourish and fuel his body well – train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it!
Here are a few tips that I find help make this successful:
1. Designate a place in the pantry and refrigerator just lunch items. I’ve found that this eliminates any need for me to “monitor” his choices, makes it easy for him, and helps the prepared lunch choices to last longer since no one else is using it for grab n’ go.
2. Prepare and stock up ahead of time! I need to restock the lunch choices every two weeks or so. Some foods last longer than others, but for the most part about an hour of work in preparation lasts nearly two weeks.
3. Buy in bulk and split into small portions. I purchase many of our lunch items from Costco in large quantities, and then on food prep day, I split them into snack size portions, and freeze additional items for the following month.
4. Freeze! The freezer is such an asset to help prevent wasted food and to cut down on prep time. You can freeze so many things! One of the things I do that has been super helpful is to make a couple dozen nut butter and jelly/or honey sandwiches, portioned into sandwich bags and kept frozen. They freeze beautifully and by lunch time it’s perfect for eating. I also do this with muffins, homemade granola bars, and most any of Katie’s baked goods.
5. The rules? Because I’ve pre-prepared a selection of healthy choices, I can really be hands-off and he loves that! I’ve found that he really enjoys the freedom to choose what he wants to eat each day and totally loves that responsibility! The only rule is that he has to include one vegetable selection, the rest is up to him!
Here are a few ideas of the foods I’ve offered to help get you started:
First, let me start by introducing the amazing woman behind these adorable custom aprons, and the host of this giveaway, Chelsea! Not only is she beautiful on the outside, this woman has a beautiful heart for Jesus, and she has a passion to use her gifts and talents to glorify Him! Her area of expertise just so happens to be designing custom aprons! When I heard this, I was instantly in love, because anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing for cute aprons!
The best part!?! Chelsea also loves Dashing Dish, and offered to design a custom made apron to one lucky Dashing Dish reader ($100 value)!
There are 2 ways to enter (each counts as a separate entry):
1. Visit Chelsea’s Etsy Shop, and leave a comment below sharing what you love about her custom aprons and/or what your favorite one is that she has made.
2. Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and comment back here stating that you did. Also, be sure to tag @DashingDish and @ChelseaMadeUSA in your post!
I will announce the winner on Friday October 3rd. I will connect the winner with Chelsea and she will work with you to design your own personalized apron! Yippee!!!!
Here are just a few of my personal favorites! How adorable are these!?!
Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to guard our heart ABOVE ALL ELSE. There must be a reason that God put’s it as a top priority…which makes me think it’s important to pay attention.
As I began to think about my heart, and the ‘issues’ that affect it, I immediately thought about the ‘obvious’ things that would affect me. I know better than to watch certain movies and shows that demoralize women for example…but as I began to talk to the Lord about this issue, He showed me that it is often the ‘little’ and subtle things that come in and affect our hearts.
It may be different for everyone, but I know for me, I have to guard my heart against scrolling on social media pages (FB, instagram, etc.), which can lead to comparing and jealousy without even realizing it. I also try to filter through the music and lyrics I allow in my ears, for I have learned that it eventually goes into my heart. I also try to be aware of the magazines I flip through- I try to ask myself, does this bring forth thoughts that come from God’s identity and worth/value, or does it send me down a negative spiral making me feel like I need to do 5 more things before I feel ‘good’ about myself?
I know it may seem silly, but the Word of God says that we need to be alert, for the devil roams about like a lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), which tells me that it is the little subtle things that pull us into a trap. Sure, we may fill our minds with the Word of God in the morning, but if we allow 100′s of other ‘messages’ to come in throughout the day, we will be left confused and unaware of who we truly are. If we take a look at the ‘issues’ in our lives, and if they have anything to do with a lack of self-worth, there may be a chance that we can trace them back to something we have put in our hearts.
Let’s be alert and aware of the things that we allow in our hearts, whether it be a show, a movie, a magazine, music, social media- you name it… If it is not promoting and esteeming who God says you are, I would challenge you to lay it down at His feet! I can say from my own experience, it may ‘seem’ hard at first, but nothing that He leads us to give away isn’t returned to us with something better (often it’s the simple gift of peace and joy!) I pray someone is encouraged and blessed by this today, and that we begin to guard our hearts as women against what this worlds says we should be, and that we come into a revelation of who God says we are, and Who’s we are~ His daughters! xo Katie
Did you know that exercise can be an act of worship? When you begin to look at exercise in that light, it will bless both your body and your soul like never before.
For some people, choosing regular exercise is not a problem, it comes naturally and they actually enjoy it. But for many, making exercise part of their ongoing, long-term lifestyle is a real challenge. More often than not, I hear from women that exercise is something they dread. I’d like to share some thoughts that may just change the way you look at your next workout.
I’m one of those that find enjoyment in exercise (I know, I know, don’t stop reading.) Regular exercise and group fitness instruction have been part of my life for the past decade. However, over the past two years, the Lord has really caused my heart and intentions toward exercise to change. Exercise used to be all about my body. It was totally motivated by physical results. I was guilty of “compartmentalizing” that area of my life. I’d forgotten that the Lord desires to be the focus of everything in my life, including exercise. My entire life can be an act of worship if I’ll allow the Lord to be a part of it!
Perhaps more than any other verse, the Lord has used Romans 12:2 to completely change my thoughts about food and exercise. I love the amplified version that says, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for YOU].”
The world has taught us that exercise is something we “should” do and generally focuses solely on our body. Really, exercise is something we GET to do and can be all about our spirit! Our experience changes completely when we renew our minds with a new attitude, and shift our thoughts about exercise! Remind yourself what a gift it is that your body is able to move like that! Thank God that your feet and legs, and arms are strong and functional. That you are blessed to live in a part of the world that makes moving easy and accessible! If you exercise at a gym, thank God that He’s providing the financial means to enjoy a place where you can improve your health and help your body to be its best. Enjoy the ability to breathe deeply. Thank Him for the endorphins that exercise provides to help elevate your mood!
Then, worship!!! I ONLY listen to worship music during my workouts and just sing and praise Him, and pray. I ask Him to speak truth and revelation to me during that time, and PRAISE Him for time set apart for that! When you know that you’re going into a time of praise and worship, you will actually find that you look forward to your workout times because you know that you will walk away from it with a fuller spirit and a healthier body!!!
Finally, seek Gods direction for the best form of exercise for you. Trust Him to lead you into His perfect will, what is good and acceptable in His sight for YOU and your body. I recommend doing away with fitness magazines and to view fitness blogs with caution. The Word tells us that, “[God] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order.” Seeking trustworthy guidance on how to safely exercise is one thing, but I find that if I spend too much time reading about other people’s workouts and getting too much input from the world, my mind becomes overwhelmed and confused by all the opinions of people. In those moments, I call on Proverbs 3:5, “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and MIND and do not rely on your own [or other people’s] insight or understanding.” I become purposeful to return my thoughts to the Lord and seek His direction and peace even in my workouts.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you that we are perfectly made by your mighty hands. We praise you that you know everything about us, right down to the ideal form of exercise for our own bodies. Help us Lord to surrender this area of our lives to you now. Help us to commit that time to praise and worship and to celebrate the body we are moving in right now, at this moment, not the body we wish we had, and not what the world tells us is good and acceptable. Lord, renew our attitudes so that we may give YOU glory in all we do including how and why we move the precious gift of the body you gave us! In Jesus name, amen!
This Dashing Devotional was written by Sarah Shaffer, the newest member of the Dashing Dish team! To learn more about who Sarah is, and what her heart is all about, Click Here!
Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week so far! I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t believe we are almost half way through September. But hey- I say bring it on if it means comfy sweatshirts, apple picking, and pumpkin season! :)
I wanted to share a few pictures with you guys that are sort of a ‘behind the scenes’ look at my two recent TV interviews. I felt so blessed and honored at the opportunity to be able to share my testimony on Life Today and do a healthy cooking demo on Fox 2 News over the past two weeks. It just blesses my heart to see how God is taking the ‘healthy eating/lifestyle’ side of Dashing Dish and using it to help people physically, and the ‘spiritual’ side to help people grown in their faith and walk with Him!
That is truly what my reason and my heart behind Dashing Dish has been from the beginning- to help others get spiritually and physically fit in a balanced way! It just blows my mind how God has continued to provide the tools and resources to do this- and I know it is simply because He loves His kids so much! I know the Lord desires that each one of us would take care of our bodies so that we will live a healthy life on this earth so we can walk out the plan He has for us with strength and endurance!
That being said, here are some of the behind the scenes photos! :)
My first interview was with Lisa Bevere on the set of Life Today with James and Betty Robison! I had the honor of sharing how the Lord healed and restored my life after eating disorders, and how Lisa Bevere’s teachings and ministry were a powerful resource that The Lord led me to in the midst of my darkest hour. I am forever thankful for Lisa, and her heart, which is to teach and equip women to know who they are in Christ, and to set the captives free! On a more personal note- she is also hilarious and extremely down to earth and genuine in person! A true beauty, radiating Jesus from the inside out! If you haven’t read any of her books, you need to pick up You Are Not What You Weigh and Girls with Swords. Both of which are life changing!
This program is set to air on October 9th, and will air on a few different stations, which you can read more about here. I will keep everyone posted with reminders on the exact date/time!
It was also such an honor to be able to meet James and Betty! I grew up watching them every morning when my mom would play their program! They have one of the most powerful ministries that is focused on saving the lost, and feeding the hungry! They are truly a blessing!
I also got to meet another amazing woman, Eileen Wilder, who also shared her testimony on how the Lord restored and set her free from years of bondage and addiction! This woman has a beautiful heart for Jesus! She is now a Creative Pastor and worship leader at Capital City Church!
After the show, I was able to meet & greet the members of the live studio audience, a few of which were Dashing Dish fans! This was such an incredible blessing, because it allowed me to put my arms around some of the amazing women that I get to ‘talk’ to every day over a screen! I honestly wish I could hug each one of you and see you face to face- so this was such a blessing to me! Here I am with Kat Clark, an amazing woman that is a true beauty inside and out. It was a blessing to get to talk to her and give her a big hug!
I also want to thank each and every amazing woman who came out to meet me (I wish I had pictures to share!) You are all wonderful, and it made me well up with tears after meeting each and every one of you!
About a week after the Life Today interview, I had the privilege of being on Fox 2 News, where I did a Healthy Tailgating cooking Demo! It was a blast to do, and it is always so much fun to be able to demonstrate how easy, tasty, and fun healthy eating can be!
Here I was in preparation to go in and film the segment- I was a little nervous being on live TV for the first time, but I kept telling myself to just share my passion and have fun! :) Since it was a tailgating special, I had to represent my home team of course- the Detroit Lions!
Then I headed on back to the Fox Kitchen to get set up!
The set looks a bit different in person than on TV, as I’m sure is always the case, but it always surprises me how different it appears on screen. The crew was also very friendly and a joy to be around, especially considering that they have to be to work at 3 am every day!
Deana was the host that filmed the cooking segment with me, and she was a joy! I got her involved in making some of my recipes which made it fun!
If you missed this live interview, you can check it out HERE!
I hope you guys enjoyed the behind the scenes look and hearing a bit more about these amazing opportunities! I do have to say though, as amazing as it was to be on television, I truly do see everything as an opportunity to share about Jesus, which each one of us has the privilege to do on a daily basis no matter where we are, or what we do! After all…It’s ALL His stage!
I am incredibly honored and blessed to introduce you to the newest member of the Dashing Dish ministry team, Sarah Shaffer! You may recognize her name from various Dashing Devotionals, as she has been writing guest devotional posts for some time now for Dashing Dish. I met Sarah about 2 years ago when she signed up for my health coaching program. During my time of working with her, she had one of the most beautiful transformations through the Lord that I have ever witnessed. We have stayed in contact ever since, and I continued to watch her radical transformation turn into an even deeper pursuit of the Lord and the freedom that can only be found in Him. As the time passed on, I continued to watch her life blossom as her roots grew deeper in the Lord. During this season of growth, the Lord began to show Sarah that He wanted to use her to set other women free just as He did with her. Sarah pursued her certification to become a Holistic Nutritionist, and she also has practical experience on how to feed a family with severe food allergies.
Sarah will be working on the ministry side of Dashing Dish, as she continues to write and share Dashing Devotionals as well as sharing her knowledge as a mom of two, and a nutritionist. She will be contributing blog posts that offer diverse topics that will go beyond things that I have experience with such as food allergies, and various family topics! I pray that you guys are as blessed as I am by Sarah’s heart and ministry!
A Personal Note From Sarah: Hello! My name is Sarah Shaffer. I am mom to two of God’s greatest creations (I might be a tiny bit biased) and wife to a man I am thankful for every day. I love Jesus – a lot. I marvel at sunsets and I enjoy my morning coffee more than I can describe. I love to cook creatively, exercise outside, spend time with my family, and share with others the lessons the Lord teaches me every day! I am a Certified Holistic Nutrition Health Coach and I spent more than a decade training and teaching fitness. My true passion however is leading women into truth and helping them to discover healing and freedom from disordered eating after walking through my own 13 year journey to freedom from varied eating disorders. It’s my true honor and privilege to join Katie as we endeavor to lead women with similar issues into the freedom, victory and abundant life the Lord has for them.
Football season is officially upon us- which means it is also officially time for Game Day Recipes! Here are some of my healthy alternatives that are sure to impress the crowd at your next tailgate!
|Main Dish||Side Dish||Healthy Treat|
|Mini Mexican Pizzas||Baked Sweet Potato Wedges||S'Mores Granola|
|Easy Cheesy Burritos||Easy Cheesy Broccoli Soup||Chocolate Chunk Muffins|
|Ham & Cheese Quesadilla||Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites||Banana Bread Muffins|
|Bacon Chicken Salad||Creamy Tomato Soup||Almond Joy Granola|
|Turkey Apple Quesadilla||Skinny Easy Mac||Skinny Puppy Chow|
|Parmesan Chicken Wrap||Honey Parmesan Chickpeas||Chocolate Fruit Dip|
|Black Bean & Corn Quesadilla||Zucchini Chips||Healthy Rice Crispy Treats|
|Mini Deep Dish Pizzas||Green Bean Fries||Grain Free Donuts|
|Honey Parmesan Chicken Poppers||Baked Pita Snackers||Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies|
|Store Bought Meals:|
-PB&J on Whole Grain Bread
-Hard Boil Eggs
-Turkey Hummus Wrap
-Soup with Chicken
-Grilled Chicken Strips
|Store Bought Sides:|
-Fresh Fruit & Veggies
-String Cheese or Cheese Shapes
-Baby Carrots w/Hummus
|Store Bought Treats:
-No Sugar Added Granola Bars
-Homemade Trail Mix