November 21, 2017

I Got Them to Eat My Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

final

Recently, I attended a dinner party with my husband that served what I thought was mashed potatoes (which has never been my favorite).  Much to my surprise it was not potatoes, but mashed cauliflower—and I loved it.  Prior to that, I had found several recipes for this dish, but was not brave enough to serve to my family, who love mashed potatoes but are not thrilled to try new vegetables.  However, since my husband loved them as well, I thought I would combine a few recipes and add my own twist. Could I get my family to eat my mashed cauliflower recipe in the name of mashed potatoes? (not a lie, just not telling the truth).

As my daughter sat down at the table with excitement, as she always does at the sight of mashed potatoes, I waited with anticipation for the first bite.  Her words, “Mom, you did something different and they are really good.”  Yes!  But too early in the game to tell her the truth.

Here is the recipe that my 9 year old daughter and husband loved.

Ingredients: (4 servings)

  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • 3 Tablespoons of skim milk
  • 1 Tablespoons of I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of light cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Boil your cauliflower until tender about 15 minutes

Boiling

  • Add all ingredients and blend or mash to your desired consistency.  I have done them in a blender as well as mashed by hand and both were well received.

blender

 

  • Sprinkle with cheese and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees to melt cheese; serve hot.

final

 This easy and quick side dish at only130 calories, 11grams of carbs and 6grams of protein, is not only tasty, but a great way to sneak in a serving of vegetables to your diet and home.

I did come clean with my daughter a few days later when she explained to me how much she did not like vegetables.  I could not resist but to inform her that she does like cauliflower. With the confused look on her face, I reminded her of the tasty mashed potatoes and let her in on the secret.  It was a proud moment for me to know I got her to eat my mashed cauliflower recipe.

In Good Health

Crystal

The Woman Who Has it All – Perfect Career/Perfect Family

It’s easy in today’s world to get caught up in the dream of having a successful career and being the perfect wife and mothe….all at the same time.  Have you ever thought, just for a minute, that you want to be the woman who has it all—perfect career and a perfect family?

Career

Whether you work full time, part time, or volunteer, perfection may be an ambition. As a business owner, it was easy for me to have the mindset that I must get it all done ASAP.  I can’t make a mistake and my business should grow at a rapid pace to be successful.  However, I had to realize that every setback or failure gives me an opportunity to learn and do it differently.  I must remember that, if I strived to have a perfect career and give 120% all of the time, there would be something else in my life that would suffer, like my family or health.

Wife and Mother

We can beat ourselves up thinking we need to be the perfect mother and wife. We want to do all and be all, but let’s get honest with who we are and what we can do.  Is it possible to cook a three course meal every night, volunteer for numerous projects and have kids involved in every activity and coming home with straight A’s?  Instead of trying to be perfect in every area, why not focus on making progress in the important things with our family. If you have followed me for a while, you have probably heard me mention one of my favorite books, Crazy Love.  Author Francis Chan quotes Tim Kizziar, “Our greatest fear as individuals should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

What Really Matters

Have you ever been so concerned with getting things perfect in your career, your home, or in your children that it takes you away from enjoying what really matters?  At the end of the day, year, or lifetime, what matters?

  • Extra hours spent catching up on email?
  • Impressing people that have no value to who are as a person?
  • Having a meticulous house?
  • Having perfectly dressed children who are shuffled from one activity to the next?

                                                           OR

  • Taking your time to grow in a career, as you seek God’s guidance for His purpose in your life?
  • Allowing setbacks to improve your character and perseverance?
  • A simple dinner at the table with family with quality conversation?
  • Saying no to certain things in your career, activities, and responsibilities so that you have time with family JUST TO PLAY?

Over the past month here at Girlfriends Coffee Hour, and in the January issue of Created Woman, a faith and fashion magazine, I have shared how it can be easy to get caught up in the race of trying to be perfect with your health and fitness, spiritual walk, and career and family.  As I coach women to achieve life balance, physically and spiritually, the first step we take is to stop and evaluate if time is spent each day on what is a top priority.

I encourage you to pause and ask the Lord to show you any area of your life where you need to let go of the desire to be perfect. Ask Him to show you where you need balance instead of attempting to be the woman who has it all. You can achieve a life of complete wellness—physically, mentally, and spiritually.

In Good Health,

Crystal

God’s Grace Covers Imperfections

Bible

I don’t think there is any area of life where women, who want to live “right,” strive for perfection more than in their moral and spiritual life. Working to follow God’s commandments, trying to do more, and comparing our spiritual maturity or gifts can be an internal battle—if we allow it. Can I let you in on a secret I had to discover for myself?  Moral and spiritual perfection is impossible! Yet we try to “be good” through our own strength and will instead of allowing God’s grace to cover imperfections.

What a glorious day when we acknowledge that we are sinners, but have God’s redeeming love, acceptance, and forgiveness.  Do you allow God’s grace to cover your imperfections and relish in His love and mercy?  I have discovered that when He is my focus, I desire to follow His commandments, love, serve, and avoid comparing myself to others.

Deciding to be obedient to God out of love and devotion, can release you from the struggle of trying to be perfect within your own strength. The focus has to be turned from self and toward the heart of Jesus.

For me, when I focus on the following Scriptures, I realize that spiritual perfection is not God’s plan for me and I won’t always get it right.

  • Ephesians 1:4
    For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world
    to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Guess what? God knew we were not going to be perfect, yet He still loved and accepted us and said He would not hold blame.  Isn’t that amazing?

  • John 14:15
    Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

Instead of trying to be “good or perfect,” focus on Ephesians 1 and how much God loves you. You can’t help then, but to want to love Him more and more because of what He has given. When our love for Him becomes the focus, we change. We no longer look at a set of rules to follow or care about how perfect we look. We follow His heart and commandments out of love for Him.

  • Philippians 1:6 (My life verse)
    Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
    will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.

God knew we were not going to be perfect. He created each of us for a special purpose, different from anyone else.  Our life and spiritual walk is a journey, not intended to be perfected until the day we see Him. His desire is that we grow in His love and seek Him more each day.

Today, stop trying to get it all right; stop trying to be perfect or like someone else. Fall in love with Jesus and seek Him more. Give up trying to be “good” within your own strength and allow God’s grace to cover your imperfections.

A Perfect Diet and Exercise Program

weightsLast week, I shared how WE, (me included) as women, can feel we have to be perfect to be “good” enough.   Then when perfection is not acccomplished, feelings of failure, guilt, and insecurity can happen.  One of the areas that can be a struggle is the desire to be Healthy and Fit.  There is the mindset that if you are going to be healthy and fit, you must have a perfect diet and exercise program all of the time.

I have seen and worked with many women to create a fitness and food design who feel they must look, exercise, and eat perfectly 100% of the time.  Then when they feel they “slip up”—they quickly give up. It is an ‘all or nothing’ attitude but it is important to remember three things:

  • Failure teaches how to train, prepare, or eat differently the next time.  Have you ever said, “I blew it, so what is the use?” Instead of giving up, stop and assess how you might do things differently the next time. That would be progress. Learning how to manage food is a process.
  • If you feel the need to ALWAYS do it perfectly, you may miss out on a memory. Being so consumed with diet and exercise may keep you from enjoying those special times for an occasional ice cream with a child. Skipping YOUR workout to go for a light walk with a girlfriend may be more important that day for you emotional well-being than your physical well-being.

zach and icecream

  • It does not have to be perfect to be healthy.  Have you ever said, “I only have 20 minutes today and can’t go to the gym, why bother with exercise?”  What could you do in 20 minutes? Some of my best workouts have been in my living room when short on time.

ball and weights

What about feeling like you can’t cook everything fresh or “organic” so you opt to eat out?  Do you really believe it would be better to eat out than make a semi-homemade meal at home?  And who said EVERYTHING had to ALWAYS be FRESH and organic?

Quitting when you think you have not lost enough weight, or your workouts and diet are less than perfect is failure. Picking yourself back after a “slip up,” learning from it, and staying consistent will give you results. It is about BALANCE.  Striving to have a perfect diet and exercise program all of the time only leads to frustration.

In Good Health,

Crystal

 

Are You Trying to Be Perfect?

crystaldaughter0108“Mom, I‘m done with my room; does it have to be perfect?” These are the words coming from my nine-year-old daughter as she cleans her room. I suddenly realize that I have affirmed her with the word perfect when completing a task “I” felt was how it should be done.  What am I saying to her? Does she have to be perfect before I think she has done a good job?  If her grade improved from an 80 in math to 90, is that good or will she feel it needs to be a 100 to be accepted?  Increasing her grade by ten points is progress that needs to be celebrated and is a big accomplishment. I now speak to her differently because I want her to celebrate progress not perfection; something I have learned in my own life.

Perfect is such a common word used by women today and there seems to be a need to achieve it.  Then, when perfection is not acccomplished, feelings of failure, guilt, and insecurity can happen.

This year instead of setting unrealistic expectations, let us all focus on where and how we can grow instead of striving for perfection. Celebrating progress builds confidence with a life of wellness and balance.

Over the next few weeks, I want to get real and discuss the areas of life, we as women, can put undue pressures on our selves such as our health and fitness, spiritual life, career and as a wife and mother. Let’s talk about how we can grow and be better, not perfect.

I want my daughter to grow up feeling proud of her successes and good about her accomplishments.  I want her to have a mother who spends time and celebrates with her instead of working hard to have everything just perfect.

In Good Health,

Crystal

photo (7)

 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Interested in joining us for our next Online Bible Study that starts on January 13, 2014?   Click HERE for more details!

Why Do Resolutions Fail?

january 2014

It’s the New Year which usually brings weight loss goals, new exercise plans and sometimes crazy expectations of what we “should” do to improve our life. I must confess, I started the New Year by jotting down a few things that I was going to do in my personal life and business.  As I started writing them, I realized I lacked motivation and excitement to do any of them.  They were not me.  I was attempting to do what worked for others or what was “expected.”  I knew I would fail miserably.  I see many women doing the same thing to lose weight or improve their health. Their New Year resolutions consist of the latest fad diet, exercise regimen or programs that worked in years past and then wonder, “Why do resolutions fail?”

Once I admitted my “goals” would not work, I spent the morning revisiting the vision of my life I created just a few years back.  A vision that describes who I really am and who I want to be.  The person that brings a smile to my face and motivates me to set realistic goals with confidence that I can succeed.  The same applies with health and fitness resolutions. Trying to do what works for others but is unrealistic for your lifestyle will only leave feelings of failure and defeat.  Creating a healthy vision will dictate the type of diet and exercise plan to follow.

What’s Your Healthy Vision of Yourself?

Have you taken a little time to reflect, and write a health and wellness vision for what it is you want to be, look like and do?  For example,

“At my best level of health I am at peace with my body.  I have energy and balance in every area of my life and I am taking the time to eat healthy and exercise 3 days a week.”  

At YOUR very best, what would you say?

Do Your Goals Support Your Vision?
Often time resolutions fail because they do not really support who a woman is or truly wants to be.  Do the goals you set support that vision of who you want to be.

For example:

  • Do you desire energy…yet attempt to follow a fad diet that will drain your energy level?
  • Are you working to have life balance…yet have committed to new projects and committees for the year?
  • Do you really want to eat healthy…yet have purchased the new diet supplements you read about in the grocery line?
  • Are you hoping to exercise consistently…yet try to follow a new exercise plan that will never fit your lifestyle and schedule?

This year instead of trying a list of things you think you should do, I encourage you to take the time, even mediate and pray, and write  a  vision that describes a realistic, healthy you.  Then take the appropriate steps that support that vision.

Habakkuk 2:2-3, says,

And Jehovah answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it.

Why do resolutions, sometimes, fail?  There is no vision—just things to do.

In Good Health,

Crystal

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

May you feel God’s Presence this season.

Christmas family 2013

Christmas Strawberry Spinach Salad

It is no secret what I will bring when asked to provide a salad for any social gathering.  It is a party favorite, delicious AND a nice change from your standard salad.  It has actually been a staple for me this holiday season and provides a little color and healthy option to fill your plate and leave room for a few treats. Not only is it a great option for dinner parties, but this Strawberry Spinach Salad is my favorite for weekday lunches with leftover grilled chicken.

There are no specific measurements—just throw in the amount of your favorites depending on the  number of servings you have planned.

  • Bunch of Mixed greens or Spinach
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Avocados
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sliced almonds or pecans
  • Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Mix all together and top with cheese such as mozzarella or feta (optional).

straberry salad

If you want to use for a quick lunches, prepare all ingredients ahead of time without the nuts  and add a couple of tablespoons of them right before eating.  The Raspberry Vinaigrette is not only delicious, but does not need to stay refrigerated so it is easy to pack and carry with you for a lunch to go.

salad dressing

To avoid extra pounds this Christmas, bring this as your healthy option to any gathering.  Fill your plate with this delicious, low-calorie salad to save a little room for those not-so-healthy options that you might choose to indulge in. Allow the salad to be your filler and enjoy smaller portions of your favorite holiday treats.  But I have to warn you, this Strawberry Spinach Salad may just become your favorite!

 

In Good Health,

Crystal

Stay in Control and Conquer Anxiety

You have been doing well by eating healthy and exercising.  You feel good about yourself because you are in control and know what to eat and then……. THE PARTY! Now what do you do?  The feelings of control have now been replaced with fear and a sense of powerlessness.  You wonder if you will have the will have the will power to stay in control overcome this anxiety.

To make things worse, it’s not just one party, but its party after party. The holidays are not just two days, but six weeks of continual celebrations that, of course, bring lots of treats and goodies to eat. There is the office and family party for you and your spouse, the church function and festivities for each child.  Then at the last minute, a group of girlfriends decide you need to go out after work for a gift exchange. To feel confident, determine your party eating  strategy.

Knowing how to handle these situations can be crucial in maintaining your weight and avoiding the average weight gain of five pounds during the holiday season.  There are so many tips and strategies to avoid the holiday weight gain, but I have found two that may be the most helpful. To stay in control and not let the stress of all the food get the best of you, I have two simple strategies.

1. Use a Small Plate     

The number one rule, in my book, when attending a party with a buffet is to pick a small plate. A smaller plate means less food. Choose the dessert plate to use for your main course and only fill it once.

2. Fill Your Plate Wisely   

Second to fill that plate wisely, choose only the things that are important to you. There are certain desserts and dishes that are my favorites and only get during Christmas or special occasions.  I am not going to waste my calories and take up room on that small plate with items that are available to me at any time. 

Right now you are busy planning all of your holiday gifts and festivities; make a plan that will enable you to have control of your eating.  Don’t worry. You can be just as successful maintaining your weight as you are with everything else in your life.  You can stay in control and conquer anxiety.

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication

 with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6

In Good Health, family 2012

Crystal

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain With Some Family Fun

For me, Christmas came quickly this year and too close to Thanksgiving. You may be like me and feel like we are now in fast motion to get everything done. I find myself with the need to slow down and stay focused on what is important. If not, the hustle and bustle of baking, shopping, and organizing holiday events will bring stress for any busy woman, which can lead to emotional eating, extra calories and feeling as though there is no time for exercise.  It can be especially difficult to keep an exercise routine or maintain a healthy diet when the kids get out of school or when hosting out-of-town guests. Allowing the stress and a lack of time to control what you eat and when you exercise can quickly bring on those holiday pounds. Instead of focusing on all of the interruptions, you can avoid the holiday weight gain with some family fun.  Try incorporating them into your exercise and holiday “to do’s.’

HOLIDAY BAKING

I don’t know about you, but I am definitely tempted to snack more if I am baking alone.  However, if someone is watching such as my kids or houseguests, I am more likely to quickly put the bowls in the sink without even a taste. It may feel like more work, but have some fun with the family and save your holiday baking to do together.

IMG_0116

FAMILY FUN EXERCISE

If you have been on a regular exercise schedule and find there’s just no way to get in a workout during the holidays, get creative and find ways to move for you and the family.

  • Forget about looking cute when out shopping. Wear you tennis shoes and walk as much as possible. See who can walk the fastest with a few extra laps at the mall. Take the stairs when possible and park in the back of the parking lot.
  • Just sitting around watching TV or playing video games can bring on a little chaotic stress which leads to more eating. Bundle up and get everyone outside with a game of football, tag, or hide and seek. Decide to take a family walk or volunteer to walk the dog.
  • If the weather is an obstacle, take a 15 minute break and get the kids together for a quick workout.  Do push ups, squats, lunges, and crunches as a family.  Make a competitive game out of it, which is always a crowd pleaser

outdoor run

This holiday season, don’t look at your to-do’s, out-of-town guests, and no school for your kids as an interruption. Throw out your normal routine and have some family fun that can help you avoid the holiday weight gain.  Get them involved in all of your baking and get them out moving with you.

turkey trot 2013

turkey trot 2013 2In Good Health,

Crystal