Favorites

I always love it when the bloggers that I follow most have a “favorites” post.  It is so fun seeing what other people like and picking up on new ideas.  I decided to highlight some of the things that are new to me that I am loving and also showcase some things I’ve loved for quite some time.

First up on the loved for quite some time is our wonderful church Mt. Zion!

Mt Zion

Last Sunday when Ron and I were walking in I snapped the picture.  I actually was trying to take a video because the bells were ringing and with the sun shining, such a feeling of calm and peace came over me.  Mt. Zion is a fabulous church and if you are in our area and are looking for a new church home, we’d love to have you.  I think one of the best things I like about our church is the community.  We have small groups that change up every so often and it is a great way to meet others and to fellowship.  Over the years I have led a couple of small groups and I need to get back to it.  One of the groups I led was on dog walking.  I think we only had about 4 or 5 of us in the group.  We would meet and walk our dogs and discuss different topics about how to sit, stay, and come when God calls.  I based the small group on this book.  Such great memories.  Another small group that I led was a Run for God group.  We trained and many of the participants went from the couch to a 5k.

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This group was so popular, we followed it up with a Run for God half marathon group.  We all trained and ran the Myrtle Beach half marathon.  Even after those 2 seasons, other leaders stepped in and continued the small group for many more years.

Some of the small groups that are just starting up next week that I have my eye on joining are the Talk, Tea, and Yoga for Women and the Beginning Ukulele group.  Click here to see all the small groups that are being offered.

Okay, back to favorites.

I adore Japanese sweet potatoes.  I can’t even eat a normal sweet potato anymore I love these so much!

Japanese sweet potatoes

I made these in the Instant Pot (10 minutes on manual) last weekend and I usually have one every night for dinner.  Most of the time I only have them with some broccoli and beans or stir-fried tofu but this week I added a new favorite, No Evil Foods.

No evil foods

The thing I love the most about this brand is that it doesn’t have protein soy isolate.  Isolates are when they process the heck out of soy and it becomes a “processed food” that I try to limit.

Here’s a shot of a basic dinner:  potato, No Evil Foods Italian Sausage, and some spinach.

dinner

Another old favorite is the awesome Juice Vibes juice bar.  When I was healing my breast cancer last summer, I would go here all the time.  I hadn’t been in a while but on Friday, I was doing so well in my PT exercises, I decided to celebrate.  I got the Green Detox smoothie.  It was delicious!

Next up on the new favorites list is this awesome new journal that I’ve been keeping.

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And right beside it are some new favorite pens.  I got my journal from my favorite wellness advocate and cancer thriver, Kris Carr .  She has lived and thrived with a stage 4 incurable cancer for over 17 years now.  I’ve always loved the art of journaling but I’ve never really been able to keep up the habit.  I’ve made it 11 days so far and I haven’t missed a day.  Below is a snapshot of the daily and weekly pages.

Kris says the secret to getting “Results” is to write your goals down every single day.

The pens that I am using were recommended to me by my oldest daughter, Andie.  Andie is an avid planner keeper and she uses Emily Ley’s planners.  She is crazy about Emily Ley and has now got me hooked on her too.  Andie got me this book for Christmas and I’ve already devoured it.  I can’t wait to read her other books.

When Less Becomes More

A couple more favorites and I’ll call it a morning and head out for my run.  It is Saturday and Saturdays for me means log run and I have 8 miles ahead of me.

Here’s a new toothpaste I found accidentally.

Fennel

I didn’t mean to get the fennel flavored one and boy was my mouth ever surprised when I first used it.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but I love it now!  Fennel has great health properties.  

And the star of the week were these banana oat quinoa muffins.

banana oat quinoa muffins

They are vegan, gluten free, sugar free, and oil free.  Since I’ve been working out every morning, I’ve needed more than my smoothie to tide me over until my lunchtime salad.  These have worked out great.  I made a huge batch last weekend and I’m all out now.  I will definitely be making these again this week.  So yummy!

Well that’s it for me.  What are some of your favorites?  Are you a journaler?

Happy Saturday!  Now, I’m off to run!

xxoo,

Melissa

 

Shake a leg for Charles 5k

What a gorgeous morning for a run.

Many of us from our Run for God small group met up and ran a 5k for a young man who is battling cancer.  I was so excited for everyone.  They have all done so so well and I hope they can see how proud of themselves they should be. 

Here we all are before the race.

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And here are a few action and finishing shots.  We all had a blast.

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I was inspired by everyone’s awesome performance but I half to admit I was awed by Jill pushing their son in a stroller and finishing so strong.  I have been a wimp and haven’t really even tried running with Mason.  I hope this will change very soon.

Now Ron and I are at Lake Benson with Mason.  Ron is shooting for 6 miles in preparation for next week’s half marathon at the OBX.  Mason and I are checking out the swings. 

Could this day be any prettier?

God is good!

I am blown away!

Last Thursday and Friday I worked in Wilmington with an awesome group of people.  At lunch I was sitting in the breakroom eating my meal and two of my friends came in with their’s.  Mike had an wonderful looking spinach salad from the cafeteria and Dustin had an equally great looking salad even though his had mostly iceburg lettuce and no dark greens.  I teased Dustin and told him that a salad was great but that he needed to darken it up a bit.  He reached over and got one of Mike’s spinach leaves and gave it a try and said it was like eating dandelion leaves.

Well, whenever you talk to me about spinach, the conversation quickly rolls around to a spinach smoothie.  I told them both about how I make smoothies all the time and throw a couple of handfuls of spinach in for good health.

Here are pictures of some of my green smoothies:

Then it wasn’t long before I began singing the praises of my pumpkin smoothies:

What blew me away was when I got in on Friday morning, look what Dustin and Mike whirled up!

 They had taken the time to go out and get the almond milk, the canned pumpkin, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the blender, and the ice.  All we were missing was the frozen banana for some sweetness.

They both tried one and I can’t say that the loved them as much as me but I think they were open to the idea of all the healthy benefits.  Remember….pumpkin is a cancer preventer!

I talk health, happiness, and the love of Jesus everywhere I go but this is the very first time something like this has happened!  So impressed by their generosity and sense of adventure.

The other thing that has blown me away was the super turn out to our Run for God small group that started last night.  I was expecting maybe 15 people but we ended up with 26!  And 6 more that are interested but were unable to attend the first meeting.

I am so happy that God is allowing me to use my passion for running to His glory!

During my testimony time at our meeting, I was telling about how deep in the summer before my first marathon I had an epiphany.  Water was not merely something that I had to drink 8 glasses of for weight loss.  Water was hydration!  Food was not just something that I enjoyed but it was FUEL and I had to choose wisely so I could have optimal performance on my long runs.  Good hydration and good fuel would help me to prevent injury.

The epiphany continued when I realized that reading the Bible and spending time in prayer were not something that I had to do to be a good Christian.  These things were what I needed to help me have a better “run” with Jesus.  They would prevent the enemy from coming after me.  Now I’m not saying that everyone that has a strong relationship with Jesus would live a trouble-free life.  We’ll just be able to have peace and handle the situations better.

We’ll anyway, to make a long story short, today a new friend called me and told me that those words inspired her.    She told me that she Googled food in the Bible and this verse came up:

1 Corinthians 10:31

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I was tearing up as she spoke to me.

I praise God for my good health and am so happy that he is using me to His glory.

I am blown away!

Goodnight Friends

Why Race?

What a glorious morning for a 5k!  This morning I went to Raleigh and ran the Run for Young 5k held at Christ Church on Edenton Street.

“The Run for Young honors the memory of Sadiki Young (a Christ Church member and acolyte) and reminds  Wake County teens how important it is to make good decisions whenever automobiles are involved.  Proceeds from the race will raise awareness for safe driving methods for teens at participating high schools and will support the Christ Church Youth Ministry Endowment.” 

What a great cause! 

Originally Andie, Lydia, and I were supposed to be doing a 5k in Wilmington today but everyone’s plans ended up changing.  Andie didn’t go back to Wilmington yet and Lydia had a band event.  Our babysitter, aka Grandpa, had to work.  So…. I just went ahead and ran the Run for Young by myself.

It was a beautiful morning and pretty warm for January 7th.  I got there and got registered with 20 minutes to spare.  Plenty of time for some stretching and runner watching.  I’m finding that I am recognizing many of the runners now.  I guess we all like to do races!  Many people had on City of Oaks Marathon, Old Reliable Run, and Jingle Bell Run shirts.

To tell the truth, I was a little lonely at the start and questioned why I was out there.  But when we started running, I remembered.  I love races!

I love coming in the finish line and getting a bottle of water handed to you.

I love eating cold orange slices.

I love bagels and cream cheese.

Today, Jimmy John’s was there and I got an avocado and cheese mini sandwich.

Yummo!

They also had some good smoothies from Planet Smoothie.

My time was the best yet for a timed 5k.  33:29.  That’s a 10:73 pace.  I’ll take it!  Sometimes it is so hard for me to believe that only 10 months ago I ran 26.2 miles with an average pace of 10:45.  Inconceivable!   Feels like a dream sometimes.

Oh well.  Onwards and Upwards.

Tomorrow at church, we are having our winter small group rally day.  I will be leading a “Run for God” group beginning on February 6th.  We will meet once a week for 12 weeks and end by running a 5k together.  Mt. Zion’s small groups are open to the public so even if you don’t attend Mt .Zion you can sign up.  We’d love to have you.  Contact me if you’d like to run and strengthen your walk with Jesus at the same time.  Check out Run for God.  I’m so excited!