slow down mommy...

slow down mommy, there is no need to rush,

slow down mommy, what is all the fuss?

slow down mommy, make yourself a cup tea.

slow down mommy, come spend some time with me.

slow down mommy, let's pull boots on for a walk,

let's kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.

slow down mommy, you look ever so tired,

come sit and snuggle under the duvet, and rest with me a while.

slow down mommy, those dirty dishes can wait,

slow down mommy, let's have some fun - bake a cake!

slow down mommy, I know you work a lot,

but sometimes mommy, it's nice when you just stop.

sit with us a minute,

and listen to our day,

spend a cherished moment,

because our childhood won't stay!

~ R. Knight


Bring On the Juice

photo credit: anahelencampbell.com

Have you ever tried juicing? It is a great way to incorporate many nutrients into your diet and besides a little chopping and the clean-up, it's pretty fun and easy.

I want to answer some questions about juicing and then leave you with some recipes to try.

1. Why should I juice?

In our culture, we are very bent on quick and easy. We have been duped into believing 30 minute meals or drive-thru's are our friends. We need live enzymes in our foods. Raw fruits and vegetables are the only way to get these life-giving enzymes. Juicing is just a great way to get them in your system. Raw vegetables are also shown to lower the ph levels in our bodies. Diets high in sugar, processed foods, meat and dairy products often lead to acidic blood (higher ph), according to Dr. Alejandro Junger, author of the book Clean. Raw foods are very alkalizing and are shown to lower the body's ph.

2. Why should I juice over just eating the fruit/vegetable in it's natural state?

Digestion is one of the most energy-involved processes in the body. It starts once the food enters the mouth and doesn't end until it reaches the toilet (sorry for the visual)... about 18 hours later. When you juice, you are giving your body a break from this labor-intensive workout in essence. The juice is absorbed very quickly and the nutrients go immediately where the body needs them.

3. When is the best time to juice?

To me, it doesn't really matter. If you are doing a fast you will be replacing your meals with it. If you are juicing to help add more fruits/vegetables into your diet, make sure to do it alongside a healthy meal. If you use a lot of high sugar fruits and/or vegetables like apples, carrots, oranges, melons, etc. in your juice without a meal, it will spike your insulin levels and the sugars will go to your small intestines and be stored as fat. BAD.

4. Drinking juices from vegetables sounds really gross, right?

Well, it can be... that's why you add the things you like first then experiment. If you don't like kale, don't start with it. I love carrots, gala apples, English cucumber, celery, red grapes and oranges. So that's what I juiced with first. Also, as a rule of thumb, the green vegetables should only make up 1/4 of your juice. Beyond that and the taste may be bitter.

6. Which fruits/vegetables are best to juice?

Go for color. Orange, red, dark green ~ brightly colored foods come to mind and are abundant in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are nutrients that protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. These chemicals have been shown to help prevent diseases that are associated with cancer and heart disease. Also, if you want the maximum nutrients, go for organic (less pesticide content) and opt for in-season fruits and vegetables.

5. Can I store the juice for later?

Yes, but you need to do it properly. Use a glass canning container with a lid. Fill the juice to the top so there's not much air. Secure the lid and store in the fridge for only 24 hours. After that the juice will begin to oxidize like apples or avocados do when left out. You may add a couple drops of lemon juice to it as well.

As far as recipes go, go with the fruits and vegetables you like first. Make sure you are not making them with ingredients that are too high in sugar (here's a list of the sugar content/calories in fruits).

Juice Recipe #1 (my favorite)
2 apples (with skin on)
2 carrots
1/4 English cucumber
1 orange

Juice Recipe #2
3-4 carrots
equal amount of celery (with stems on)
1/2 red bell pepper

Juice Recipe #3
1 apple
2 carrots
1 small beet (peeled)
1/2 lemon

Juice Recipe #4 ~ Mean Green Juice Recipe *

4 stalks of celery
1 cucumber (peel off skin)
1 ginger root (thumb size – peel off skin)
1/2 lemon (skins off)
2 green apples
6 kale leaves

Juice Recipe #5 ~ Kidney Tonic **
1 cucumber (peeled)
1 small handful parsley
1 celery stalk
1/4 lemon
1/2 inch gingerroot

The internet is a great place to scour for more juicing recipes. Here are some sites with additional juicing recipes...

Happy Healthy Life


I Am Well Now!

Reboot Your Life

* recipe taken from Joe Cross's documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.

** recipe taken from the book, Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life by Cherie Calbom


Gravel, Grace & a Place I Can Celebrate

There's this place. It's at an intersection. It's a little roadside church. White and plain, but perfectly placed in the middle of nowhere. It has a gravel parking lot. I don't normally notice gravel parking lots, I only know this because I pulled into it one day. Since that day, I seldom travel by it anymore.

But coincidentally, just the other day I drove by that place. Immediately that sick feeling you get in your stomach just before you are about to face a bad situation happened in my gut. A rush of emotions took over and guilt enveloped by mind. It's a place I wish didn't exist. That beautiful little country church’s gravel parking lot represented a dark side I want to erase.

It was a place that has brought me guilt as a parent. On that day, I allowed my flesh to control me as a mommy to our first son than allowing the Spirit to lead me and I simply blew it. I exploded in my words and attitude toward my toddler for cleverly squirming out of his car seat. I never harmed him physically, but it is a moment I still wish I could take back… even to this day, 10 years later....

But as I think about that intersecting place marked by the gravel lot, I begin to see a place where grace and forgiveness collide over my sin. Admittedly, we all have those parts in our lives that are ugly and dark. Places we want to bury and forget about. But maybe God wants us to bring those dark spots to light only so they can converge with His forgiveness and grace.

“Grace is nothing more nor less than the face that love wears when it meets imperfection, weakness, failure, sin.” – Joseph Cooke

Did you ever think that our places of past regrets can become places of celebration? They truly can be marked this way only because they reveal our emptiness and deepest need for God. Who are we apart from Christ anyway? Those spots that once haunted us can become places that remind us of God's forgiveness. Even though we can't forget the past, we can choose to celebrate our now changed lives. Tears of guilt are transformed into tears of gratefulness.

"There is hope in forgiveness." -- John Piper

The Bible is full of naming stories, from names of places based on something significant to names of people. Naming something reflects our relationship with it. In Genesis 22:14, after God spared Isaac's life because of Abraham's obedience, Abraham marked that spot and named it, "The Lord Will Provide". Maybe that's what we should do. Mark our spots of grace and name them. Remember it for a place of redemption... a place of that we've been rescued from. Not a place of disgrace. "Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return.

Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you." -- Paul Zahl

I named that spot. I will remember that gravel parking lot I drove into that day. But now I will remember instead, Christ being my rock... "Stone of Help".

Do you have a place of shame or guilt? Do you avoid it? Take the long way just to go around it? Next time, don't. Drive right by it. Slow down. Name it. Celebrate the place you were at and the beautiful place God is or has taken you to. And by naming it, you can remember the broken spots and the place that God has made new.

Whole Grain and Flax Waffles

I am always on the hunt for a healthy, whole grain breakfast recipe that isn't too dense and dry.

One that my kids will have no clue is healthy for them too. I found this recipe in this month's Self magazine and did a little adapting to my likes. My kids and husband gobbled them down.

Hope you enjoy them too!

Whole Grain & Flax Waffles


1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 T. ground flax seed
1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t. salt
1 egg, separated
3/4-1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup of mashed banana
1 T oil (preferably coconut oil, melted)

1. Blend oats in a blender until very fine.

2. Combine oats, flour, flax seed and spices in a bowl.

3. In a second bowl, beat egg white until stiff peaks form.

4. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, banana, oil and egg yolk until well combined then stir into floured mixture.

5. Gently fold egg whites into the final mixture as well.

6. Pour into waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes.

7. Add fresh berries, pure maple syrup, slivered almonds, Greek yogurt... the possibilities are endless!!!

Makes about 4 round waffles.