Archive for November 2014

Blueberry Muffins (gluten free and low carb)

Blueberry Muffins (gluten free and low carb)
 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • 8 tbsp. splenda (or 4 tbsp. stevia and 4 tbsp. splenda; mixing 2 types helps reduce bitter aftertaste)
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest (or 1 tbsp. of lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¾ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk
  • (optional) ¼ slivered almond pieces
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Mix dry ingredients together (flour, sea salt, baking powder, stevia/splenda, lemon zest)
  3. Add wet ingredients (eggs, milk, vanilla extract, butter) and mix well together.
  4. Add blueberries and fold in gently.
  5. Divide the batter into muffin cups. The batter is quite firm so you will need to use a little spoon to level the batter nicely. The muffin cups should be filled to the top as the batter doesn't rise much.
  6. Bake about 20-25 mins. until lightly browned on the top.

*Can be frozen and re-heated later!

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Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

happy heart

Novemember naturally seems to be a time of the year where we discuss what we are thankful for. Challenge yourself to adopt an attitude of gratitude, not just in November, but for a lifetime. Here are some tips below to help cultivate gratitude in our daily lives.

Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

1) Keep a gratitude journal

   It gives you perspective and allows time for reflection. It allows you to organize your thoughts and put the experience into context.

2) Remember and be grateful for challenges and “negative” experiences

   These are often the times we learn the most valuable lessons in patience, understanding, humility, and strength.

3) Focus on the gifts

   Be thankful for the gifts we receive from others….a smile, kind words, the gift of time, material possessions, and wisdom. Remeber, not all   gifts are things you can hold in your hands.

4) Pray for gratitude

   Even when we don’t feel like being thankful-there is still so much to be thankful for!

5) Be grateful for your health

   The body is amazing machine-be thankful for all that yours can do.

6) Keep a visual reminder to be grateful

   A picture frame with your favorite gratitute quote or a list of items you are thankful for can serve as a daily reminder to keep things in    perspective.

7) Commit to practicing gratitude

   Make an effort everyday to let others know you appreciate them.

8) Maintain a positive, grateful attitude

   Surround yourself around grateful people when possible and set a good example by maintaining a positive attitude even in difficult circumstances.

It’s always nice to find research that supports benefits of a happy life!

Harvard school of Public Health is doing some of their own. Check this out from 2011:

” Kubzansky is at the forefront of such research. In a 2007 study that followed more than 6,000 men and women aged 25 to 74 for 20 years, for example, she found that emotional vitality—a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance—appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The protective effect was distinct and measurable, even when taking into account such wholesome behaviors as not smoking and regular exercise.” See full article here: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease

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True happiness and JOY is a manifestation of something deeper in our hearts. Check out this great resource from John MacArthur on “What is the Secret to Contentment?”

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Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

Bacon wrapped green beans are a great low carb option for a Thanksgiving side dish! They are quick and easy to make but savory and delicious!

Ingredients

2 Bags long string beans or frozen string beans

1 Package of bacon- preferable Nitrate/Nitrite free (Cut in half)

2 Tablespoons Splenda brown sugar (or regular)

Olive Oil

Directions

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with Olive Oil

Cut bacon in to thirds

Lay bacon out and place 6-8 green beans on top and roll up

Lay seam side down on the cookie sheet

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with brown sugar

Bake at 375 for

30-40 minutes or when bacon is brown and crisp

 

You can also mix this up by using doing Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto as an appetizer

Wrap each asparagus spear in prosciutto and cover. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add asparagus and cook until prosciutto is crisp and asparagus is tender, about 2-3 minutes.

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Thankful for How We are Made

Especially at this time of Thanksgiving, it is good to follow the advice of a three thousand year old Psalm which reminds us to, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits.”

My job mostly involves trying to help repair the deficits, damages, and diseases that happen to the human body over a lifetime – best case, I can help to prevent or delay some of those.  But in the midst of all that, I am often amazed and thankful for the resilience and reparability of the physical equipment we are given.  It’s one of the huge benefits given us by our Creator.

Let’s face it; most of us don’t exactly treat our bodies with pristine care. On average we Americans throw down a five pound bag of sugar every couple of weeks, spend too much time on the couch, take in way too many calories and too few nutrients, and some of us top this off by daily sucking in smoke containing a few dozen carcinogens. Happily there are some wonderful exceptions to those statements.  But then there are the unavoidable exposures to bacteria, viruses, parasites, falls, collisions, toxins, heat, cold, stress, sleep-deprivation, and bad hair days.

In spite of this, over a lifetime we ask our legs to take about 100 million steps, our heart to beat some two and a half billion times pumping over 40 million gallons of blood, our body to replace 300 billion cells every day (each of which is like an unbelievably sophisticated information-packed miniature city), and countless other tasks.

As any good car salesman would say, we come “fully loaded” with 60,000 miles of blood vessels, lungs with a surface area equal to a tennis court, a stomach lining that withstands an acidic environment that can dissolve razor blades and gets replaced every 3 to 4 days, a liver that looks very mundane but carries out 500 different functions and counting, a nose that can remember 50,000 different scents (often tying them in to some emotion or memory), bone which is pound for pound stronger than steel, and even a dab of earwax that protects the delicate inner ear from bacteria, fungus and dirt (if not removed by an overzealous Q tip user).  And the list goes on and on.  The closer we look and the more we know the more amazing it is.

Here’s a small example: Some years back I fractured my finger playing flag football.  It turned out I had a bone cyst that had weakened my finger tip so the fracture wouldn’t heal unless the cyst was gotten rid of.  The orthopedist scheduled me for a surgery in which he opened up an area on my wrist, took some bone scrapings and put them into the cyst in my finger tip.  That was kind of cool.  But what was far more amazing is that those displaced little pieces of bone which had grown up on a wrist knew how to form into a perfect new fingertip.  Uh yes I am definitely one of those crazy people who believes in a Creator.

I’ll sandwich these thankful musings with another 3000 year old Psalm: “O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all…”

There are more things that I am thankful for than I could list in this short space.  One of them is certainly the amazing body we have been given for these few short years on earth.  Even more I am looking forward to the one that has a warranty that never expires, and that has eyes that will see the One who ultimately is my Healer.

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