where am I, and looking ahead.

Nearly two months of a blogging break. I had no idea that 1 week would turn into one month, which turned into two. But honestly, it was a much needed break. I have had a long few months since I last blogged, and I needed time to deal with my life, without constantly trying to share it on here.

What all has been going on? Well without getting into too much personal detail (this is available for the world wide web after all) a truly difficult breakup, the stress of finishing up my senior year, the process of making post-grad plans (hello, big decisions!), and the whirlwind weeks of crying, smiling, hugging, and reminiscing before I graduated from college this past Saturday.

I don’t know if you all can tell from that list but… I have been processing a lot. I am so thankful for family (my mom is my rock), friends (seriously, girl friends are the best) and all the others who have supported and loved me these past months. Most of all, I am so thankful to have my faith. This time has been so crucial for me, and without God to trust in, I honestly don’t know how I would have waded through all of this.

At the beginning of this past school year, I chose a word to focus on. My word was trust. As a type A, organizer, planner, and all around high stress person, trusting in the God’s plan and ways has always been a considerable challenge for me.

well that word has come into clear focus the past few months. my journey this year brought me to somewhere entirely different than my “plan” had me headed. If you had asked me 3, 2, or 1 month ago where I would be headed after graduation– you would have received a different answer every time. I’m sure you all know this, but I just need to say– it is incredibly difficult to keep steadfast trust in the Lord when it feels like His plan is changing every 5 days, or throwing you out into situations you have no idea what to do with.

but through all this tumult and change (and growth) that I have been experiencing, something really special has been happening in my life. God has been so present to me in my anxiety, my worries, my fearful moments wondering what the future holds. I have felt His tangible comfort in these moments, and I have felt Him walking with my through days.

this has all really helped me to start rethinking how I can trust in God as I move forward. yes, I will continue to trust that He has a truly amazing plan for me, and that someday I will understand it. But more importantly, I am truly trusting His presence and love in my life. God is here for me, and I am appreciating that in a way that I never have before. And if I have His love and comfort, what more do I need?

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if you’re still reading you might be wondering– so what does all of this mean health-wise, and for the future of the blog?

health wise I went through an iffy place for a while. the combination of stress and starting a new waitressing job I wasn’t working out very much and lost a good amount of weight (especially considering I wasn’t trying to lose any). But after a few weeks, I was able to get back to the basics– I packed my diet full of nutrient dense foods (avocado + ground beef? yes please) and starting lifting more weights again (cardio is just ew right now. no need to burn extra calories when you’re waitressing 30 hours a week).

For the blog– I am going to continue from here with posts on fitness, food, and maybe some more faith, seeing as that is such an essential part of my journey.  I feel like this blog is such a special opportunity, and if my faith/fitness/food story can help even one person, it’s worth sharing! I may even have a new site soon, to help me move to the next phase of my story, so keep your ears open. And of course, let me know if there is anything you’d life to hear more of on here!

If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around, I hope you’ll stay as I continue my journey!

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Thinking Out Loud: Randomness + Happiness.

Thursdays are for… Thinking Out Loud.

1. This little boy makes me so happy. He runs around, up and down the stairs, and has the best little laugh. Walking with him (ok he rides in the stroller) and my mom every morning puts me in a good mood and make the rest of the day brighter.

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2. Summer fashion. I am so looking forward to wearing cute outfits! In the month of May, I spent more time in leggings and a t-shirt than in ‘real clothes’. #studylife. But after I take the MCAT (Friday the 13 🙈🙈) I will be free and living in the real world (at least until I get my scores back ha! 😉). These summer outfits are giving me the shopping itch!

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^^perfect for church?^^

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^^dinner date or a walk in the park. via.^^

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^^wanderings around town, or day trip adventures!^^

3. Father’s Day is almost here. Unfortunately it’s a week afterI leave home, so I won’t be able to celebrate with my dad. I am storing up some ideas though, for things to give him!

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^^This is probably meant for a younger child but.. isn’t it cute? If only I were a little more crafty…Make it.^^

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^^I am definitely an evil child but I think this is hilarious. More here.^^

4. I’m not usually into drinking my calories, but on those hot summer days (which I’m sure there will be plenty of in South Carolina) a cool drink can be way better than a snack. Plus I love that this recipe (Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Cooler) has both a virgin//alcoholic option. Whatever your mood!

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^^Check out the recipe.^^

5. I figured that since I’m about to be a senior in college, I should probably learn how to do more than eyeliner + mascara. It’s a start!

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^^Makeup hacks every woman should know, here.^^

6. Joy not just happiness- is found only when I walk with God. Such a perfect reminder on these long study days. God is with us!

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^^Read more here.^^

Mondays don’t have to be so bad.

When you spend all day inside, staring at your computer, the days can kind of run together, leaving me disheartened and dreading the hours of staring at my computer. But I have to remind myself- these hours of studying aren’t for my happiness now they’re for my goals & aspirations of the future. Anyway, I could ramble on, but I thought I’d save you all the pain, and instead share some quotes that have been inspiring me lately. Enjoy!

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Faith Link Up!

Have an awesome Monday!

Favorites.

Monday mornings can be hard. Earlier wake ups, back to work. Well, if I’m being totally honest, my Monday mornings aren’t that different than any other morning. Wake up, study, workout, study. Except today, because I have to get my blood drawn this morning. Oh well. It’ll be over fast.

I wanted to share some of my favorites that have been making me happy lately!

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^^Flowers in ball jars. Bright and fresh.^^

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^^Summer berries are here! These strawberries were so delicious, and I’m hoping to pick up some local//fresh ones soon.^^

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^^This baby boy. He’s too cute. My mom watches him 3 days/week and I can’t get enough. Babies are too fun, right?! Until they cry.^^

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^^Coconut oil on everything. I’ve been cooking a lot of dinners for my family and I’m using coconut oil on everything. I think I’m converting them. ((especially after sharing about the harmful effects of olive oil when heated up)).^^

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^^Kale chips. The perfect snack (or popcorn replacer!) And butternut squash. Cooked in coconut oil. Of course.^^

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^^My favorite thing this week. Devotionals. God always gives me just what I need. He follows my heart and calls me to him even when I am failing Him.^^

“Humble yourselves therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

What are some of your favorites this week?

Highlights.

Have you guys checked out the awesome blogger Monica over at Bravo For Paleo? You need to! She has a great website, and an e-book that is only $3 with a guide to Primal eating, and how you can manage it in college. ^^This is a banana pancake from her book- and the recipe is only 2 ingredients!^

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Justin’s Nut Butters! This was my first jar of Justin’s and I am a total believer. This is basically the same thing as Nutella. Except it’s 100x “real-er”. You can taste the hazelnuts, and it is not loaded with sugar. A new staple.

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Salads are my specialty around here. Especially at my college dining hall. There aren’t too many healthy options, so I usually go for all the veggies, some protein, and possible some cheese or almonds on top!

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Homemade salads are also a regular staple. I consider myself a salad connoisseur 😉 !

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I wore real clothes multiple times this week. I consider that a win. It’s really tempting to wear leggings and a tshirt everyday- especially those days when I go from class to the lab to clubs…you get the picture!

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I like to multitask when I’m stressed. Walking on the treadmill while studying- it allows me to get some activity in, while not neglecting my school work.

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Final Thoughts:

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My Health Hero

This month, I was asked to participate in an awesome series, “Who is Your Health Hero”, hosted by the American Recall Center

The American Recall Center is a great new website providing straightforward, accessible health and wellness news. From their website: “We aim to build the most comprehensive resource on the Internet for timely and trusted material regarding healthcare topics that matter to the consumer.” This month they are also hosting a series on Hip Replacement. I recommend checking out the different parts of the website and becoming more informed on your health!

My health hero: stick with me y’all! This post is wordier than usual, but I hope you enjoy it.

Today, I am writing about the most important person in my life, the center of my world, and the inspiration behind everything I do- including my passion for a healthy life! I am talking about Jesus Christ my savior and redeemer. This might be an odd concept to some of you, even fellow Christians out there– so let me elaborate.

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When I was in high school, I suffered from an eating disorder. I haven’t shared this on my blog yet, but I have mentioned it a few times. The sort version of the story is such: When I was in a Junior in high school, I studied aboard in Belgium for 11 months. I had always been health conscious before that, and I had always been on the chubbier end of the spectrum. The sort of look like “baby fat that never quite all got lost”. I had been a vegetarian since 8th grade and remained a vegetarian until earlier this past year {Junior in college}, including my time abroad. I’m not going to go into detail now, but in short, my insecurities about my body and my fear of gaining weight while aboard led me to develop unhealthy anorexic and orthorexic habits that I kept up for 2 years. After 1 year of suffering, I opened up and looked for help but the journey didn’t end there. It took me the next 2 years to come to terms with eating normally, and with the weight I had gained back {which was so so necessary but still difficult}.

Even after I have overcome my ED in the past 1-2 years, there has always been that little struggle in the back on my head, with the ED trying to come out, to be in charge again. That has been a challenge, and definitely something that works against my health. Not healthy and not a sustainable lifestyle.

A little more than a year ago, I gave my life over to Christ. I have always been a “Christian” but that moment I truly accepted Christ into my life, my mindset changed. As a Christian, I learned that Jesus loved me before I was even born. Jesus cares for me, and Jesus died for me. I am valuable already, without doing anything. For someone who suffered from harming, depriving, perfectionistic, damaging mindsets for many years, this was the most amazing realization I could have. My heart is practically hurting with the joy that brings me. I was finally free. Free to live without worrying constantly that I was not good enough, thin enough, pretty enough.

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“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them”

Genesis 1:27


“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

This revelation changed the way I eat, view my self, and value my health. Over the past year I have experienced a total shift and eye-opening in my life. I no longer work out to burn calories or lose weight, or even look a certain way. I workout to be healthy so that I can glorify God; so I can live a full life for His kingdom, so I can enjoy the fullness of life that God intends for me.

My health hero is Jesus Christ, and that is a great, wonderful thing! For someone else it may be a friend, parent, spouse, or pet. If it keeps you healthy, that is awesome. I hope you enjoyed reading my story, and that it will be helpful and informing to others in similar situations!

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Walking with God

Today’s post is  a little more personal than I usually get- but that’s what this blog is for, right? As someone who is a relatively young Christian {about 1.5 years at this point} I am learning new things about The Lord every day, and I hope you all enjoy a little elaboration on that!

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Unlike a lot of people, I have always been a “rule-lover“. Give me a set of rules, and I will follow it to a T. When I became a Christian, I looked for that set of rules that I needed to follow. Pray daily, don’t gossip, go to church etc…

It was easy for me to make a “checklist” to go through each day with. This made my first few months as a Christian incredibly easy. As long as I did/didn’t do the things on my list, I thought I was being a “good Christian”. Yet, I didn’t feel my heart or my ways had really been changed? Why?! I was frustrated and upset– I was doing everything right, right?

A while later, I had the amazing opportunity to hear Leonce Crump speak {Pastor at Renovation Church in Atlanta. You all should really check him out if you have time}. He made a simple statement, that totally shook me up, and has changed the way I practice my faith. And it was incredibly simple.

“It doesn’t matter how much you know about God, if you don’t know Him.”

Bam. I was so convicted by that statement and it is something I dwell on frequently, even now- months later. Building my relationship with God, rather than just my knowledge of Him, has been a complete change from the way I grew up. It is definitely the biggest struggle I face- because, don’t all our struggles stem from a lack of focus/strength in our relationship with God? That’s how it works for me.

Living an unsegmented life. Walking with God throughout the day. Making Him the center of every task, decision, and especially interactions with others around me. That is the ultimate goal, and something I am working towards each day.

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recap– in pictures.

food:

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^hummus hummus hummus…literally the theme of my life. It goes with everything! That’s my mantra in life.^

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^breakfast sando– Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, egg whites, and Cedar’s Roasted Red Pepper Hommus^

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^a delicious combo of peanuts, pumpkin, and oats. Simple and filling breakfast.^

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^a Perfect Protein Pancake via Fitnessista. This was so good and so easy to make. The best part– it actually formed like a pancake–fluffing up and getting that nice “crust”. I served mine with a simple apple on the side.^

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^apparently I only take pictures of my breakfast… my bad! Toast, one with hummus, one with pb+j. With some egg whites and red pepper hummus on the side. It was awesome.^

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^classic Friday dinner with the friends. Black Bean Burger with side of fruit and 1 little onion ring.^

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^birthday dinner out for my beautiful roommate. I went with the Penne-Goat pasta– with gluten free penne. It had spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and pine nuts. Delicious!^

fun:

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^Christian Motorcyclists Association.. what?! But yes….so much yes to this!^

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^seriously…my heart melts at these pictures. These kids are the best!^

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^Friday night fun. good stuff^

faith:

and to finish things  off– some devotionals and inspiration for your Sunday.

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Are you having a good weekend?

faith and the internet.

my faith in Jesus Chrust is the most important thing in the world to me, and I use lots of tools to help me stay committed and growing on my journey. As a college student, I’m busy busy busy and always looking for ways to have my bible/faith/religion more accessible to help keep me on track and keep me accountable. With that in mind, I thought I would share my favorite technology-realted ways to keeping faithful to Christ.

1. BibleGateway.com

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This is a great tool  for people who are always on the go, or who like to read many different versions of the Bible. I love reading different translations (some of my favorites are NASB, MSG, and CEV). It allows you to read the Bible on your laptop, ipad, iphone, anywhere!

2. Youversion.com

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Youversion is a great website. It’s similar to BibleGateway in that it gives you access to the entire Bible (in many languages/versions) from pretty much any mobile device. The reason I love it so much is because of all the devotional/reading plans they offer. I love reading the Bible but often have trouble working through large amounts of text on my own. Having access to so many different reading plans gives me direction in my daily devotions and guidance for building my relationship with God. I have the app on my phone to keep me up to date when I’m on vacation!

3. Enterthebible.org

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This website is one of the most informative tools out there! Enter the Bible provides a summary, outline, background issues, introductory issues, and theme for each book of the Old and New Testaments. I find this very helpful when I starting a new book of the Bible or wondering about the historical and theological context of a certain passage. They even provide maps and external resources (like commentaries and critiques) to widen your knowledge. I recommend this site to anyone looking to expand their faith and their education!

So just some of my helpful hints! Happy Friday!