Monday, June 22, 2015

the question game

Let's say I wanted to write a post that helps me understand what exactly I'm feeling. How would I go about doing that? How do you play 20 questions with yourself until you get under the layer? I'm not sure what's under there and so I'm not sure what questions to even be asking.

Do I believe in God?

Am I sinning?

Why do I feel nothing?

Why does the idea of scripture being enough make me so angry?

Will God show up outside of scripture for me? Is my doubt and questioning worth it to him?

Am I sinning by wanting God to speak to me/reveal himself to me/BE THERE outside of scripture?

I did the scripture route. I was faithful through doubt for a very long time. And then faith and perseverance just began to feel like something that was completely up to me to make happen. I had to sustain myself by reading scripture. God wasn't helping me. I really need a relationship with God, I really need reassurance, I need feeling and love and words from God RIGHT NOW and the best way I have been told is to seek him through his Word and you will hear him.

But what about when that isn't happening?

What if I have been seeking and have sought faithfully and earnestly but then I just run out of gas? I know it's not all on me, yet it feels as if God isn't doing his part. What then? I mentally and spiritually am out of juice and I am begging God to come to me. Is that wrong?

Is it wrong to make an active choice to put your bible on the shelf and tell God you hope he is real and if he is to please help?

These are the questions I have. They are questions to which I'm not sure there are general answers that can be given. It seems wrong to affirm someone deciding to not pray or read their bible. But in certain cases, is it?


- Bethany





Sunday, June 14, 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt Hike

I have had this draft sitting in my folder since March! Here is a quick little recap of our first time hiking the greenbelt in Austin with my parents this spring! But first... Hopdoddy:










We also drove a little bit down the road to catch the view of the the 360 Bridge!



- B





Friday, June 5, 2015

Whole30/Paleo/Clean Eating Meal Ideas

Ok, I am on day 16 of a 30 day clean eating plan.

Here's what I am not supposed to have:

- white potatoes
- corn
- rice
- beans
- alcohol
- grains/wheat
- processed foods
- sugar/sweeteners
- limit sweet potatoes
- limit dairy

Basically, I can have:

- vegetables (except starchy ones)
- fruit
- all natural meats
- nuts
- eggs
- protein powder
- dark chocolate

The first 5 days were horrible, but the rest hasn't been as bad as you would think! I haven't been in school so I have had plenty of time to meal plan and prep, which I'm glad for because it seems like that's all you ever do on this diet! I've been snapping pictures of my meals along the way so that I remember what we have made and what we've liked! I thought I'd share some of what we've eaten in case anyone else was desperate for meal ideas like I have been!

Breakfast:

Usually some form of eggs, which I was sick of by week 2. Luckily by week 2 I found a recipe for baked goods that didn't taste like dirt! I also just ordered some chocolate protein powder this week so I'll be trying that out soon!

Scrambled eggs/chopped peppers/pico de gallo 
The Banana Muffins that saved my life by satisfying (sort of) my bread craving:
Found this sausage with peppers and cheese stuffed in it at HEB and it's so good!
Scrambled eggs over leftover chicken fajitas and peppers with pico- I loved this breakfast!

Lunch:

Usually lunch was some form of leftovers or a hodge podge of random items in a salad, but a few times I made specific meals just for lunch.

Taco boats were great, but even with a whole package of ground meat we hardly had any leftover, so it was kind of an expensive lunch.
 I saw this option for "breakfast tacos" on Pinterest and had it for lunch yesterday. It was pretty good! Just scrambled eggs and salsa wrapped in natural lunch meat. 
 Earlier this week I grilled some marinated beef fajita meat to have in salads. Again, with this option we just didn't have as much leftover as I thought we would so it wasn't very cost efficient.

 Anything wrapped in lettuce is basically a go to. I also broke down and purchased veggie chips because I need crunch in my life.
 This is our most typical salad, sautéed chicken and salsa dressing. Not really a fan of salsa dressing or oil and vinegar so it kind of sucks. 

Dinner:

Dinner is usually a little more exciting because we have so many new recipes to try. I finally learned how to cook spaghetti squash where it's actually good! Still not a huge fan of mashed cauliflower, but cauliflower rice is pretty decent. Salmon and some roasted vegetables is our go to quick meal. We have also cooked stir fry a lot too.

Lemon pepper baked salmon, baked asparagus and carrots.
 Burgers stuffed with chopped jalapenos
 The first week we started it was still raining every day so I made us homemade chili that used a million vegetables and was so good!

 We had steak with baked asparagus and fresh baked okra and cauli mash. Sauteed some garlic to add flavor.
 This was one of my favorite meals we've made! Mostly because it doesn't take like you are missing anything. Coconut Crusted Chicken Strips and Stringy Sweet Potato Fries.
 Ok. Paleo Shrimp Scampi won as my favorite meal we've made this month!
 More of that awesome HEB sausage and grilled veggie kabobs.
Chicken Stir Fry with Cauliflower Rice is a go to. I use this recipe, just modified to be Paleo. Use tapioca starch instead of corn starch. 


Snacks:

Usually nuts. Sometimes dark chocolate. Sometimes fruit, I'm not a huge fan of almond butter. I made an appetizer this week that was bacon wrapped jalapenos stuffed with pineapples and it was really good!




Here are a few things I tried that SUCKED and you should stay away from: The "Best" Paleo Brownies, Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing, Spaghetti Squash Casserole. The brownies we referred to as chalk cake. The other two disasters could have been partially my fault so who knows.

So there you have it! That's some of the recipes I've made so far! If you want to see more options, you can check out my Pinterest board where I save all of these. We are only half way through this month so I'd love some more recommendations if any of you have them! Feel free to comment with them!

- Bethany