The Joyful Kitchen VII

by Heather on June 23, 2010

Good morning y’all! Thanks so much for all of your sweet get-well wishes…they must’ve worked too because I’m definitely a lot better!

Yesterday the only thing I could eat (before dinner) was some Vegan Overnight Oats with Chocolate Banana Soft-Serve!

I’ll be honest, I tried overnight oats a while back and was NOT a fan of the cold oats, but this was INCREDIBLE!  Adding the banana soft serve made all the difference in the world, and I’ve now found my newest obsession :)

The rest of the day was spent sleeping and folding laundry while sitting on my bed, which I think helped me get better much faster (the sleeping, not the laundry).  Come time for dinner I was STARVING and super thankful that food actually sounded good!  I decided to make some Pineapple Salsa, a recipe that I’ve been making since a collegiate stint at a local burrito place (they’re now closed).  I gathered up all the ingredients!

Pineapple Salsa

  • 2 small cans Rotel Original, 1 drained and 1 with the liquid
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 jalapenos (I seeded one and left the other intact.  The heat is all in the seeds and the membranes, so if you don’t want it to be spicy then remove all of the seeds and membranes from both jalapenos)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder

Rough chop all of the fresh ingredients (tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, cilantro) and combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Pulse until desired consistency is reached.  It should look something like this:

And it will taste like HEAVEN.  Seriously, this salsa is the best I’ve ever had, and as a proud Texan-living-in-Colorado, I know my salsa.  Don’t worry; I’m expecting several marriage proposals after this one, but just so you know Nate’s already got my heart :)

We also had some Spelt Berry, Black Bean, and Edamame Salad, based on this recipe:

When I made it I didn’t have onions or wheat berries, so I used onion powder and spelt berries, and used some carrots in there for extra color and some sweetness.  Honestly it’s a little bland, but nothing that a little Pineapple Salsa can’t fix!  We each had a fajita-spiced (loosely based on this spice mix recipe) grilled chicken breast as well:

So good, and a perfect summer meal!  We each had some unpictured tortilla chips with our salsa as well :)

Dessert was a store-bought ice cream cookie sandwich, which was the perfect ending.

I’m happy to say that I was able to keep all of the food down, and it feels good to have finally eaten!

The Joyful Kitchen VII:  Joy in Faith

I’ve been holding off on this topic during the entire Joyful Kitchen series because I wanted to make sure that I did it justice and was able to clearly voice my beliefs in a way that would help and bless all of my readers.  It’s also a difficult topic because I know that not everyone will agree with everything that I have to say, but it is something I believe everyone needs to hear!  Let’s just jump right in, shall we? :)

I grew up with an amazing family:  two parents who modeled a great love for one another, a great love for me, and a great love for God.  I grew up in the church, and felt that I had a firm understanding of who God is and what He meant in regards to my life.  When I was in 3rd grade, I “accepted Jesus into my heart” at a Methodist summer camp, which meant to me that I was saved from going to hell when I died.  From then on I defined myself as a Christian, and made every attempt to not “misbehave” for fear of tarnishing that reputation.

In 7th grade is when my disordered eating began, but I pretended nothing was wrong and never addressed the issues within my heart that were causing me to despise food.  In high school I took diet pills, but still never thought anything was wrong.  In college I took diuretics and over-exercised, and STILL never thought anything was wrong.  However, at one point (and I don’t remember the catalyst) I realized that my thought patterns and behaviors towards food were not healthy and were not God-honoring.  In the days following I decided to re-dedicate my life to Christ, but still had no firm understanding of what that meant.

You see, I knew how to go through all of the motions, but I had no idea what it meant to actually live out what God really calls me to do:  love Him with all my heart, mind, and soul, and then to love others as I love myself (Matthew 22:37-40).  I didn’t know how to do this because I didn’t know how to love myself.  At that point in time I’d learned to base my entire self-worth on my food intake and not on the woman that I was created to be.

I’ll be 100% honest here:  there is no turning point for me in this, but rather a lot of mini-turning points.  Just when I think I have it all figured out, I’m presented with a new way that I put myself above God and everyone else, and there’s an eminent downfall that follows.  And I’m still learning how to submit to His will for my life, one day at a time.  So how do I find joy in faith?

  • The biggest thing is to remember that God’s plan for my life is greater than anything I could ever imagine. I think it’s important to understand that I’m not preaching the “health, wealth, and prosperity gospel” here.  Just because God’s plan is great doesn’t mean that I’m going to be a gazillionaire next week, have ripped 6-pack abs, or a closet full of designer jeans that is the envy of all of my friends.  It means that I am gifted in certain areas, and that God will use those gifts for His glory…which is my wish as well.  As I said in this post, my hope is that this blog and my life will be used to change the world, one person at a time.
  • God is for me. I remember my friend Stephanie saying those very words about a year ago and coming to the realization, for the first time, that God is not some cosmic deity just waiting for me to screw up.  His will for my life is to follow wholeheartedly after Him with a full understanding that He loved me enough to send Jesus to die on the cross for my sins.  If God would do that thousands of years before I was born, it’s silly for me to think that I’m in this struggle of sin and life alone:  God is with me and God is for me.  And He’s with you and for you too.
  • I am loved. I’ll be the first to admit it, but I’ve had a very privileged life.  Any hardship I’ve faced has been because of something I’ve done to sabotage myself.  However, for some reason I never felt like God loved me enough to keep me from myself.  Thing is, I had to go through the crap to fully understand the full scope of the love that God (and my family and my friends) has for me.  It brings me unlimited joy to know that, despite my issues, I am unconditionally loved and adored.
  • Love others. I’m slowly learning to love myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love others.  I try to show love to others daily through my words and my food.  Showing love to other people brings joy that nothing else can, and it means that God is working through me to change the world, whatever that looks like.

I don’t know if I’ve clearly explained my beliefs, but if you have any questions at all please feel free to ask me.  What it all comes down to is I’m willing to let God use me for good in this world, and even though I get in the way of that many times, I’m thankful for His forgiveness and love in my life.

I love you all and I am so thankful for every single one of you!  Happy Wednesday :)

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