lean · Spiritual Journey

Enough Is Enough…

On November 6, I decided that enough was enough!  Had I had enough of mourning over a bad breakup? Nope! I finally decided that I was tired of neglecting the importance of TRULY taking care of myself. From the inside out. Tired of NOT nurturing the temple that God loaned me while I spend time on this earth. I no longer felt like MIA! Vibrant, young, energetic, resilient, brilliant, and limitless. Instead, I felt sluggish, unhealthy, and frankly, I didn’t like how my clothes were starting to fit (Vain? Maybe. True? Absolutely!). Growing up, I was the ‘chubby’ sister. I was never largely overweight or anything like that, but while in undergrad, I began taking my health and fitness VERY serious. I mean, I was a beast if I must say so myself. I had so much discipline. So much will power. I was very strict, while occasionally allowing myself to enjoy the things I liked. Most of my workouts included running. And doing all of this worked for ME. It worked well for my metabolism, the way my body felt inside, weight control, etc. (Plus, I was a late bloomer, so this was during my ‘pre-bloom’ period. So I wasn’t working with quite as much. lol)

Anywhoo, fast forward 5 years. I’m looking at old pictures of myself, and I honestly don’t recognize myself.  And don’t get me started on the comparison trap. With social media, if we are not careful, we begin to allow our surroundings, society, our insecurities, and others to define who we should be and how we should look. How dare they, right? *insert dramatic eye roll* I had to stop myself in my tracks and remind myself that not only am I a daughter of THE KING, but my worth is far above rubies (that good ol’ Proverbs 31!) and is not determined by my dress or jean size. As women, we tend to be sooooooooooooooooooo hard on ourselves with the unrealistic expectations that we place on ourselves. Instead, we must work to be the best version of OURselves, but still LOVE OURSELVES WITHOUT THE CONDITIONS. Less “I’ll love my body once I can fit back into a size 4” or whatever that may look like for you. And more “I AM FINE. 😉 I am capable. I AM ENOUGH. I am worthy. I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (That’s Psalm 139:14)

That brings me to the ‘now.’ I had forgotten my “why.” In the past, I’ve tried different ‘diets’ that promised speedy results. But always eventually found myself right back in the same spot. I didn’t want to do that again. My ‘why’ was often for vain or superficial reasons. I believe we ALL need to have a why. A ‘why’ that isn’t superficial, but comes from a place of self-love, care, and the truth of how GOD sees us. 1 Peter 2:9 reminds us that we are a “chosen generation, a royal 👸🏾priesthood, a holy nation, His own SPECIAL people…”😍  You’ll notice that NONE of this has to do with our outer appearance, the dreaded number on the scale…but EVERYTHING to do with who we are, and how God sees us through HIS eyes. The TRUTH of our identity. So, my why is to honor God with everything He has blessed me with.

That includes all spiritual blessings, good health, a sound mind, and the talents I must exercise for His glory. My why is to FEEL GOOD and know that I am treating my body in a way that illustrates LOVE for it, ensures that I do my part to make sure I am around to fulfill HIS purpose in my life for HIS glory. If I continue to feed my body with junk ALL THE TIME…can I really expect it to do what I need it to do in the long-run? Nah. See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Yes, the original context is in reference to sexual purity, but I believe that as Christians, we can and should apply this to other ways that we should care for our earthly temple.

So, where was I going to begin? I knew I would need God to guide me and walk with me on this new journey for a lifestyle change. Your girl can eat 😆so this was going to be an adjustment! Lol And I also knew I wanted/needed some accountability partners! I set a personal goal of losing 15 lbs in 90 days because I was the largest I’ve ever been in my adult life. And the fact that I am young, able-bodied (thank God), have no children or anything else holding me back…I wanted to get in the best shape/condition of my life. I chose 90 days because I desire slow, steady, consistent, and permanent changes to be made. Not another ‘quick fix.’

This journey began on November 6. Today is November 21, and I am proud to say that I have lost a total of 3 lbs! 😱That is definitely an accomplishment! 🙂 Because since I have completely eliminated bread and rice from my diet (I just don’t even buy them at this point)…while drinking a ton of water, I feel lighter. AND portion control has become my new BFF. 🙂 I try not to eat because I’m bored. And I try not to eat until I’m about to roll over because I need a nap. lol

Doing this has allowed me to ensure that I get more veggies on that plate! (That doesn’t mean I will never eat rice or bread again, but I can do without it right now). My goal is also to workout 4 days/week.🏃🏾‍♀️ Which I have been sticking to with the exception of last week when I was under the weather. But, since I only eat out on weekends (or treat myself with a cheat meal or a few delicious, unhealthy snacks), I am able to know exactly what I am putting into my body, and make better choices!! Which is the goal.

The best part about this journey is I am not alone. God is with me (Isaiah 41:10)! I am also in great company with friends and family who have their own goals because they too, have had enough. We encourage one another while holding each other accountable. Life is a journey, not a destination as India Arie so beautifully puts it! And when we embrace one another in this way, there is nothing that we can’t do. May we all continue striving to be the best version of ourselves!

What have YOU had enough of?

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Farkarwa

lean · Spiritual Journey

Featured Post…Zucchini Enchiladas! (By Courtney Oles)

Heyyyy everyone!!

Today’s post is a little special.  It’s the first of many features I will do of various ‘self-proclaimed chefs that I come in contact with and have the pleasure of knowing! As with the culture of my blog, there will be some sort of spiritual connection or nugget of encouragement in there somewhere. 😊 I really hope you enjoy this aspect, while I cook up a new project in the mean time 😊 You will still receive original posts from me, but I’ll be alternating between the two.

Before we get started, I attend a monthly Bible study/brunch/lunch with other young adult Christian women in the Houston area.  Today’s feature, Courtney Oles happens to be one of the lovely hosts.  Last month, she mentioned her desire to go the healthier route, while still packing on the flavor for her guests!  And boy did she accomplish this.  Never in my life did I think zucchini could be made to taste soooooo DELICIOUS!!  Listen…I don’t want to give too much information away too soon, but it was definitely a crowd pleaser.  So out of the box and left everyone wanting more!  Okay, enough of my long-winded intro 😊…allow me to introduce to you, fellow foodie, Christian woman, goal setter, steward, and dream catcher….Courtney Oles!! Enjoy!! 😊

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Hola amigos, Como estas? Mi nombre es, Courtney. Okay so I don’t speak Spanish but I have recently gone a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and all of sudden believe I am fluent in Spanish. I am a Houston native, born and raised.  I attended Stephen F. Austin State University, (Axe’m Jacks) where I obtained my Bachelors of Science degree in psychology and minored in communication studies. I am currently working as a service coordinator/early intervention specialist for ECI, (Early Childhood Intervention) at Bay Area Rehabilitation Center.  There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to help families with children who have developmental delays and disabilities, reach their age-expected development, by providing the necessary therapies and resources needed to be successful.

One unique fact about me is that I am walking quote book! Haha, sounds crazy right? But if you were to ask any of my closest friends they would tell that I literally have quotes for anything. I’m a quote person, if there’s ever a moment or opportunity to encourage someone, I offer a quote for whatever situation that they may dealing with. I find that reciting short quotes can help us mentally place ourselves in a positive environment no matter where we are at any given moment.  Anywhoo, a few weeks ago a group of my sisters in Christ and I got together for our monthly ladies’ fellowship. My good friend Ashley and I had a vision to create a space for like-minded Christian women who are seeking to grow in their walk with Christ to come together for encouragement, bible studies, prayers, laughs and uplifting conversations. Oh wait, did I mention to enjoy good food too?! Yes, my sisters and I love to eat, so we make sure we have good food present! Now don’t get it twisted, I am no chef by any means. I am always nervous when it comes time for the ladies to eat, I always secretly pray, “Lord please let this food be satisfying, if not help me to brace myself for the rejection.” Haha true story, your girl nearly breaks out into a sweat!

For our last fellowship, I wanted to create a dish that was tasty yet on the healthier side. I haven’t committed to being vegan, but I am slowly trying to pull myself away from bread or just heavy carbs in general. You know the saying, “bread makes you spread.” I love Mexican food so I am always down to whip up some enchiladas. However, I wanted to try something different. I looked up different ways you could possibly eat enchiladas without the tortilla. I found a recipe on Pinterest, where someone used Zucchini’s instead of tortillas. I sent the recipe to my friend Ashley to get her opinion and she was down with trying it out. So, I said cool let’s do this! While I was thankful for the idea that Pinterest provided, you know I had to add Coco’s flavor to it. With that being said, allow me to walk you through the process of creating Zucchini Enchiladas.

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

 

Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce 10oz Can (I use hot flavor)

4 large zucchinis, halved lengthwise

1lb Ground turkey

1 onion

Salt

2tsp. ground cumin

2tsp. Chili powder

1 cup of Monterey jack cheese

1 cup of Colby jack cheese

Sour cream for drizzling

Chives for garnishing

Y-shaped peeler

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grab a large skillet, medium heat, oil the skillet with olive oil and add chopped onion.

Once onion is sautéed, add ground turkey. Cook until there is no pink in the meat.

Add cumin, chili powder, add 1 cup of enchilada sauce, 1 cup of Colby jack cheese and stir thoroughly. (feel free to add any other spices you may like)

Grab cutting board, y-shaped peeler, and knife. Rinse the zucchinis, slice the zucchini in halves lengthwise, and grab the y-peeler. You are going to grab the y-peeler and slide it down on the inside of the zucchini.

Once you’ve cut the thin slices of zucchini lay them flat on a paper towel to dry.

Lay out three slices of zucchini, slightly overlapping each other and apply a spoonful amount of the mixture of ground turkey on it and roll it up gently.

Repeat this for the remaining zucchini until all of the ground turkey mixture is gone.

Transfer all of the zucchini enchiladas over to a oven safe pan. Drizzle 1/3 cup of remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas.  Sprinkle ½ of both cheeses over the enchiladas.

Bake for 20min.

Remove from oven, garnish with fresh chives, sour cream and ENJOY!

Enjoy all the flavors of enchiladas without the carbs.

**Feel free to add any sides of your choice, I personally love black beans and Spanish rice.**

**Everyone was so ready to eat, I FORGOT to get a picture of it! Just know…it’s AMAZING!

P.S. This is me in Mexico! Lol

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Farkarwa ❤

lean · Uncategorized

Ginger Beef & Herbed Quinoa Recipe 

Ginger Beef & Herbed Quinoa Recipe 

Sistas, how y’all feel?  Fellas, y’all alright?

I know it’s been a while.  The last few weeks have been suuuuper crazy!  I really appreciate those of you who have taken the time out to read and follow so far!  I am currently working on revamping my blog (I know it’s still pretty new but I wanted to add a few things to make it even more special.  Lord willing, you will see what I mean in another week or so).

Anywhoo, I was actually going to hold off on posting until then, but I’ve been asked several times about what I have been cooking lately…and I HAD to share with everyone!!  Plus, I attended a women’s Bible study today that talked about being INTENTIONAL.  Holding off on posting because of some updates goes completely against that.

Well, I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did!  If/when you try it, contact me and let me know if you like it as much as I do.

As with many of my recipes, this takes approximately 30min to prepare!  The reason I try to do this is because I want to create dishes that are healthy, flavorful, and do not always require a lot of time in the kitchen.  (not all of my recipes are healthy or quick…it’s just what best fits my life for the most part for now).  Being in grad school, I don’t get to spend as much time cooking as I would like…but a girl’s gotta eat!  So, I come up with these dishes that match my lifestyle, without compromising flavor (which is important to many of us).  Ginger has become one of my FAVORITE things to cook with.  It has sooo much flavor and spice.  I just love it.

Let’s get to it!

What you will need to enjoy this dish:

Ginger beef:

1lb lean grass-fed beef

3 tablespoons ginger (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic

¼ cup onion

1 teaspoon olive oil

Herbed Quinoa:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water OR vegetable broth

1 tablespoon butter (optional)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 ½ tablespoon oregano

1 1/2 tablespoon parsley

1 pinch paprika

Mia’s ‘Go-To’ Salad:

2 large carrots (sliced)

1 cup spinach

1 cup kale

Juice from ½ lemon (optional)

3 radishes

3 strawberries

Instructions:

For 1 cup of quinoa, you will want to add 2 cups of water or vegetable broth.  Add butter, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, and paprika, and stir well.  Cover and cook for 10min.

While quinoa is cooking, on medium-high heat, sauté onion for about 3min.  Add beef and cook all the way through.  When beef is half-way done, add ginger. Drain excess fat.  Set aside.  (The great part about using lean beef is that there’s less fat and more meat to enjoy!)

For the salad, add all ingredients to a large bowl.  Sprinkle with lemon juice (optional).

Serve.

ginger beef

**For the salad…I should let you know…I LOVE experimenting with different textures and flavors in my salad.  Hence the radish and strawberries…in the same bowl. 😊 Not everyone ‘gets’ the whole strawberries in a salad thing…but I promise, if you give it a try, it adds a unique, DELICIOUS flavor to it.

Until next time,

Farkarwa