Monday, July 28, 2014

The Final Post (for now...)

Do not let anyone tell you what you should or should not eat or drink. 
Colossians 2, 16a

Dear Family in Jesus!

Today's Spa is (for now) going to be my last entry as I feel like now it is time for us to continue to live it, and time for me to start writing about spiritual abuse. I will do so at
So guess what?! This (for now) last entry is about both!

I am surprised that no one ever came up to me prepared with this quote from Paul! What could I possibly say to this verse but hope that the context will clarify things? And, as 99% of the time with difficult Bible verses, the context reveals the meaning clearly. But to a prone to fear or an uneducated believer this verse could be the free-for-all to wallow in the puddle of bliss of ignorance. Oh, how I have been there. Both in the prone to fear/ uneducated believer AND wallow in ignorance to food spot.

Paul is addressing newly converts to the Christian way in the city of Colossae. New believers, just like today, were under a lot of spiritual attack, and sometimes physical as well. In many of his letters to new believers in cities that have received Jesus Christ he had to address the same issue: Religiosity or legalism. The Good News of the fulfillment of the mosaic law by Jesus Christ were almost too good to be true, so religious Jews or other religions and cults would have an easy in to sway people back into having to follow some kind of a law. 

As we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit we are vulnerable to fall into the hands of bad leaders or a religious crowd. One way of recognizing spiritually abusive people is by paying close attention to how they really are. Not how they preach they are. How they really act. When all the display of love and welcome is done, do they spread fear and condemnation, or is it truly their desire to lovingly edify you into the person that God is forming you? Especially, when confronted with their own shortcomings, are they responding out of humility? Only if someone has something to hide will they get defensive, angry, or turn the table on the one who brought up the problem.

The mosaic law was full of eat nots, drink nots, do nots or touch nots. To get out of that mindset or resist the temptation of falling back into it, as it was the pre-Jesus way of attempting to gain God's favor, was for some a struggle. Others basked in the freedom of being molded from the inside out into the image of Jesus (into a son/daughter of God that is) more and more every day by having been filled with the Holy Spirit of God. 

Once we catch the spirit of something there is no more law for us!  The spirit will eventually become a "default setting" within us. This can work for or against us- obviously depending on the spirit. 

If we receive a spirit of fear, fear will eventually dictate our behavior. If we receive a spirit of lust, lust will eventually dictate our behavior. If we receive a spirit of legalism, self righteousness will eventually dictate us (and attempt to dictate others through us). 

If we receive the Holy Spirit of God, God himself will eventually dictate us. Someone moved by God doesn't consider his life under a law, just like someone under fear doesn't consider himself under the law of fear. They do "what they must". But in either case to "receive a spirit" means that there was an open door to allow it into one's life. Selah (wrap your mind around this one!).

Since I don't want to make your life miserable by putting laws on you that you can never keep, I keep on inviting you to "catch the spirit" of health and nutrition. I believe it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, but I say that AFTER having received this as a divine move within me. Now, I must. Now, I get to! 

6 Years ago I would have not recognized myself today. I told you, I was Cookie Monster's older sister, addicted to sugar, a slave to my taste buds, tossed to and fro by health issues. But I had an open door to "receiving the spirit". Being around a trusted friend who consistently by her example made me aware of learning to read labels, cooking from scratch, or moderating my sugar intake, changed me. 

That dear and trusted friend is Ashley Darkenwald. She has recently published a book "Living Wellness"- Wellness achieved by nutrition and exercise. I had the privilege to serve as an editor and write a Spiritual Spa for every of the 12 powerful chapters, as we believe there is no real Wellness if our soul isn't reconciled with God in Jesus Christ. You can take a look at this book here:

So, dear Family in Jesus, keeping in mind that I am not proposing a law, but that I speak from a place of conviction about health and nutrition, let me leave you with reminders and  shopping tips:

- Think before you eat: Am I eating for flavor or for nourishment? Can I make a choice that will give me fuel AND nourishment?

- Buy your dairy (including butter!), meat, and eggs organic, grass fed, and free range. Today we are paying extra for nutrients that should be in our food in the first place but aren't due to treating our animals as if they were factories. This is not only of "weak brain usage" aka: idiotic, because it harms us as it saves us money, but also an abuse of our authority over animals. They suffer from never seeing the living daylight, not feeding on what they were created to eat (guess what- it's not cheap GMO corn!), being locked up with terrible hygiene in tiny cells they potentially have to share with a number of other traumatized life-stock, and (this is not an exhaustive list of reasons to buy organic) the slaughtering process is meant to be cost-effective, not graceful and from a thankful heart.

- Get the Hain's Safflower Mayo. It's the best mayo you will ever taste and high in natural Vitamin E. You should be able to find it at Coborn's in the Natural isles or Whole Foods.

- Get organic ketchup. No high fructose corn syrup, but made from organic tomatoes with real nutrients.

- Steer clear of Vegetable oils or fake fats like margarine. Alternatives to frying in medium heat: Cold pressed olive oil or butter. For high heats: Coconut oil or lard. A lifestyle of consuming vegetable oils puts you at high risk for heart disease and/or cancer. Why? FREE RADICALS due to rancidity in the heating process are known artery cloggers and carcinogenic in your body! 

- Invest into quality food, freeze it if necessary, and only prepare as much as you know you and your family will eat before it goes bad. Simple wisdom, but hard to follow in a world of plenty.

- Snack on raw fruits and veggies (such as organic baby carrots and snap peas) and pair with a good source of fat (nuts, cheese, tzatziki, hummus, etc.). Remember your fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K?

- Stay physically active, daily! Don't listen to a bad conscience. Just go for a brisk walk.

- Keep on educating yourself! There is so much great information at hand through the Internet. Infinite recipes to be tried out. Keep on asking, keep on researching, keep on stretching your comfortable lifestyle by making/baking more from scratch, and finding ways to exclude grains/chips and include veggies into your diet.

Dear Family in Jesus, thank you for reading this Blog! I will keep it online, so you are welcome to read through older posts, refer others or comment. If I have a pressing new thought on health and nutrition, I will post it here!

Be blessed abundantly!

Monday, March 31, 2014

I STINK- THEREFORE I AM! (An Invitation to Embrace Natural Odors)

Dear Family in Jesus Christ!

Turning to the Bible to learn about the Jew's use of fragrant oils throughout the centuries makes for an interesting overview of our faith's history. (Now, I don't claim to have covered the topic to exhaustion!)

  • All the way from institutionalized incense for the Altar Ceremonies under the old covenant (e.g. Exodus 30)

  • to deliberate use in beauty care and personal hygiene in hopes of being found fit to meet a King (e.g. Esther 2)

  • to the anointing of a King (e.g. 1. Samuel 16)

  • to the anointing of Jesus as a preparation for his burial (Matthew 26)

  • to Paul's metaphor that God diffuses his fragrance through believers of Jesus, to some a scent of life, and to others a scent of death (2. Corinthians 2). 

The common denominator in all instances is that the use of fragrant oils was deliberate. It was either commanded by God as a prophetic expression, related to personal hygiene to be set apart from the common folk (potent scents derived from sources such as cinnamon, lavender, rose buds, herbs, and you name it were usedor a metaphor used by the Apostle Paul that falls in line with the traditional use of fragrant oils, namely that believers and their lives become God's temple. He fills them with his spirit just like the scent of the incense once filled the area of worship and sacrifices dedicated to God. I also hereby emphasize that the fragrant oils they used were derived directly from nature.  

The use of fragrant oils in our daily lives has not changed completely. Only that "fragrant oils" have been replaced by chemical mixtures, usually starting out with alcohol and ending with something unpronounceable. I, myself, used to love to drench myself with the spicy and pleasant (to me) scent of a perfume called "Sun". That was until I was made aware that my use of perfume may weaken my thyroid even more and cause other problems in my system. Here is a little example: since I loved my "Sun" scent so much, I added the "Sun" lotion to my regiment. The onsetting rash on my arms, followed by a visit to a dermatologist, followed by using a medical cream to treat the rash, was eventually traced back to the use of the lotion and cured simply by ceasing to use it. (Did the doctor ask me if I had started a new lotion? No, he didn't. No judgement here- just a good reminder that a doctor's focus is not your lifestyle choices, but how he can treat your symptoms.) 

Ever since then, I have been on a dedicated journey to cleanse my personal care arsenal from anything harsh and chemical; driven by a passion to attain optimal health naturally. By trial and error, spending money on expensive products, and then finally finding an affordable regiment that works for me, I can conclude that the results toward my health are amazing. There is just one side effect that I didn't see coming... 
At THIS POINT this post suddenly turns shockingly self serving. There isn't really any way around it. Let me cut right to the chase:

"Your perfume makes me sick."

Ridding my life of toxic chemical influences has made me sensitive, you might say extremely sensitive. And I know I am not the only one! But, unfortunately, there are still enough people out there that don't have the slightest clue that next to harming themselves by using artificial fragrances, they are harming other people as well. Second-hand perfume. Uuuggghhh. Onset symptoms: For me it's mostly nausea and headaches. I can't even use my beloved "Sun" anymore without having a terrible day! 

For us sensitive noses, we don't feel like smelling the roses at the first sense of artificial scents in facial or hand lotion, body lotion, hairspray, leave-in conditioner, room sprays, cleaning products, deodorants, and the list goes on!

This leads me to pose the question to you, keeping in mind the deliberate use of fragrant oils back in the Bible days; why do you use perfume? What for? What is your motive? Again, no judgement here. I'm just here to inspire (and honestly to hopefully make sensitive noses's lives a little more pleasant). 

Probably most people use perfume because they enjoy that particular smell and they reckon it will enhance their appearance. Others use perfume to mask their smoking or having been exposed to an unpleasant odor such as fried food.

Now, considering the attempt to enhance your appearance: in German we have a phrase that translates to "I can't smell you", meaning "I can't stand you". I'm not saying that stinging sweat smell is preferable over toxic whiffs of perfume but who likes nausea and headaches that could have easily been prevented? Also, please consider that not everyone shares the same idea of what a good smell smells like. Who would like to be in a room with someone who reeks of an offensive smelling perfume? 

Well, the conclusion of today is that I want to remind you that God wants to smell through you. He wants to be the main thing others "smell", or pick up on, are subconsciously or consciously aware of, when you enter the room. Is your perfume maybe in the way because people are sickened by it?  

Here is one idea of how we can find a compromise: Essential oils. 

These undiluted and pure oils are free of anything harsh or toxic and, if used scarcely, can meet your need for you to smell like more than "just yourself" and will usually leave sensitive noses at peace. Please know though that since they are very potent not everyone will enjoy your choice of natural scent. We're just not accustomed anymore to smelling like cinnamon buns or a lavender bush. Instead of using toxic spray deodorant or antiperspirant try salt crystals as found at Coborns or Norwex. An easy way to lower your risky exposure to chemicals and to making people like me be more happy around you! You can experiment with adding a drop of essential oil to your wet salt crystal to add a natural scent to your deodorant. There might even be scents that cause you (or others) discomfort. Again, it is trial and error, with the up side being that these oils are not expensive and you can get them even at Walmart. Essentially you want to be mindful of yourself and others when you use essential oils. Doesn't that sound like something Jesus could have said?

Be blessed abundantly!

Friday, February 7, 2014

And the Oscar goes to....

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 
Ephesians 4, 25

Dear family in Jesus!

Having enjoyed working in the creative world of onstage performances or video shoots one could call me an expert on putting on a show. As a trained actress I bet I can sell you anything and you would not notice that I am lying my nose into infinity. For the purpose of acting this is a vital skill to posses, but how about real life? Many christians "act" their buns off and might not even realize it. Let me take you on the journey to seeking wise transparency. 

A great friend inspired me immensely by sharing the quote to "stay between the ditches". OMG! If only someone had given me this advice 20 years ago. I feel like my life could be summarized by my desperate pursuit to find a home in one ditch after the other. 

Can you identify with this? 

As immature as it might be to slide from one ditch into the other, sharing my new found excitement with everybody around me, only to offend, exclude, and ignore other facts and people, was always at least: honest. 

In the christian world there seem to exist two particular ditches when it comes to honesty. Being too honest and putting on a show. Somewhere in the middle lies the Truth- if we realize it or not.

Between "I am sooo miserable" and "Everything is just grand" lies the potential for revelation. 

What season are you in? Are you waiting for a breakthrough or are you enjoying the fruits of a harvest? Is both applicable in your manifold life? What is God's perspective on your good/bad situation? Who does He want to be for you?

We are called to put away with falsehood. We are called to speak truthful with our neighbor. Who is my neighbor? you might ask. Well, let me remind you that your neighbor tends to be the person you least wanted to be honest with. ...Maybe because they are not a christian? Or they don't attend your church? But remember, being the Good Samaritan means to love everyone and at all cost with a godly love. 

Sharing your true thoughts with someone, including struggles and hopes, means to evangelize (spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ's surrender to the divine and worldly law, execution and glorious resurrection for God's joy and our wholesome salvation by the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts). Who would not want to be honest if it means to evangelize? 

Let's be honest, for God's sake. Who are we trying to kid? Let others boast of you. Let God promote you. Let your reputation get better by truth and not by putting a spin on your life.

Now, as we are trying to stay between the ditches, unto the "wise" part. 

Everything you say shall be true, but you do not have to say everything that is true. I believe that the Holy Spirit does a fantastic job to nudge us as to what to say to whom. Don't rationalize it how ever. "If I let a non-believer know that I have struggles in my life and God doesn't answer my prayers the way I think He should, I will be a bad witness." Again, one would think out of a ditch and lacking revelation. 

Please picture this: 

On the one side of the road to eternal life there is a ditch called "Head knowledge" 
and on the other side the ditch called "Heart knowledge". 
Both ditches might be true. 
But to jump from one ditch into the other, without connecting them and sifting out what's not true, will always be one sided, unbalanced, unhealthy, and eventually merely wrong. 

The christian faith receives Jesus as the road in between, calming our fish tail ride by saying: "I am the truth, the way, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." 

We are NOT left as orphans. Our father didn't abandon us with a set of rules to figure out. Jesus went back to the Father in heaven IN ORDER TO send us the Holy Spirit, which is as long as we live continuing to transform us into the image of Jesus, a son/daughter of God, teaching us HOW to posture our head and heart, HOW to live. 

DITCH: Head Knowledge
ROAD: Holy Spirit
DITCH: Heart Knowledge

Here some other ditches:

DITCH: Couch Potato
ROAD: Holy Spirit 
DITCH: Workout Fanatic

DITCH: I trust no authority!
ROAD: Holy Spirit
DITCH: God only speaks through my pastor!

DITCH: I am free to do what ever I want!
ROAD: Holy Spirit
DITCH: Abiding by laws will be our salvation!

DITCH: Meticulous nutrition will keep me from sickness
Road: Holy Spirit
DITCH: Sickness only stems from spiritual matters

DITCH: Heart on the sleeve 
Road: Holy Spirit
DITCH: Total introvert

And many more....

I realized that it is "my style" to learn about something by landing in a ditch for a while. Much like a horse with blinders. It focusses me on the new topic, the new thoughts, new facts, new principles, etc. But I also realized that to stay in that one ditch or to say "You in my ditch or I ditch you" would be grave ignorance. I want to rely on the Holy Spirit to clean up and connect all the ditches in my life, to continue to show me the Truth in everything I know, by using everybody I know. 

Dear family in Jesus, I pray you were inspired to shed another layer of pretense in your life and embrace wise transparency in the Holy Spirt, as we are in need of one another; and so is the world.

Be blessed abundantly!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Pursuit of Holiness

Sometimes it takes divine intervention to get our attention. 

Dear family in the birthday-King Jesus!

On the quest to holistic health I am asking God to show his heart in the information I receive. That is essentially what holistic health means to me. Knowing God´s heart in every aspect of life and allowing it to transform us more after the image of Jesus- a son or daughter of God.

We must not lead a life of craving satisfaction.
We get to be free of regrets after a meal.
We need not be ashamed of our bodies.
We are blessed to make healthy choices.
We get to be united with God`s initial intention, as presented in the story of the Garden of Eden, which has not changed: to be known as the provider of the needs of our body, psyche, and spirit. In this context I want to share a dream I had last night.

In the dream someone gave me a word from God for me, personally. A request to stop doing something related to nutrition. (I am not going to tell you what the exact request was, as I believe it was for me personally and you get to ask Him yourself what His word is to you, personally.) So, back in the dream they gave me the request verbally and I instantly argued with them. I argued with them even though I was convicted that them delivering this word makes for two witnesses and I should accept their word to me. Then they gracefully left the table we were sitting at together, leaving me with a few sheets of paper. I grabbed the paper and tried to jot down as much as I could. The only sentence I recall writing down was: Christina is not to _____________.

Waking up I knew that this dream couldn´t be ignored. Especially not since I had recently told someone close to me that I believe God sometimes speaks to me in dreams. Had this dream been about somebody else, I would have not hesitated to prayerfully reflect on it. BUT, since I definitely did not like the message, nor thought it was necessary, I knew my mind would not just come up with a dream like that.

I spent the whole morning pondering on the dream, seeking a truthful response to it, since I knew I really did not wish to be obedient, hoping to find a reason why this was not God speaking. Then it dawned on me: I get to submit my will to the Father in heaven that I trust. What an experience of freedom! In the dream I thought to myself that there were two witnesses, as I had felt that I had procrastinated to really seek God´s will concerning that particular thing for a while. It was nagging in the back of my mind, accusing me. So now I had my divine intervention gently steering my attention towards a personal topic, and I get to have peace knowing that God spoke to me and I get to be obedient until further notice.

I cannot make a rule of what He asked of me, because the thing itself is no sin. Usually the thing itself is not the issue, but our heart´s attitude towards it.
Now I joyfully expect to get to know God´s heart better. 

Now, dear family connected in the holy spirit, let me encourage you to spend some time at the end of this year and pull on the lose threads that dangle in front of your life´s eyes. What are they leading to? Is God trying to get your attention? Is He asking you to start to do, or to quit something? If you feel a nudging, or a check within yourself to change something particular in your life, please also be free to know:

It is not your salvation that is at stake when you disobey.
Nor do you gain your salvation when you obey.
Our salvation is secure in the personal acceptance of what Jesus Christ did for us.

In times when I know God has a direction for me that I do not want to take it has an effect on my relationship with Him. The divine direction I ignore becomes a nagging voice in the back of my head, turning into sin (something that separates me from God) giving the accuser of the church (satan) grounds, because I do not wish God to enter that part of my life. Christians might be the most wretched people in the world if they still cannot be fully honest with others, themselves and essentially God.

That is also when the dreaded "should-ing" starts to enter.

"I know I should do this, but....". A terrible feeling. A time to come up with excuses. Maybe even a season to seek for biblical reasons to avoid personal obedience. "The bible says I am free to do all things, so don´t you put me under the law...". Eventually that leads to the hardening of the heart, and the deliverance to the consequences of our choices.

If you are feeling this way, I encourage you to allow God entrance into this part of your heart. Even if you know you do not wish to adjust to His personally expressed will to you, ask Him to stay with you as you continue with what ever it is that you cannot let go of or do not want to do. Ask Him to change your heart, to convict you of his trustworthiness.  
I have experienced God works within me exactly in that way, until the put-off request becomes a decision of freely submitting my will and actions to God. And as humans we are to be free do that! 

Having been saved from an abusive micro-managing leadership I desire to pass on nothing but God´s freedom and grace.
AND- not BUT-  there is also the freedom and grace to obey God´s individual leads. At the very least we can expect to get to know more of His heart! As children we start our lives seeking personal happiness. As adults we get to realize that setting ourselves apart as God leads us, individually, we could never be happier! 
Merry Christmas, a happy new year, and be blessed abundantly!    

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Can Because You Can? No, You Can't!

For I CAN do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
                                                                             Philippians 4, 13 

Dear family in Jesus!

How wonderful it is to be strengthened by Jesus! Nothing compares to living your life out of his strength and for his glory, than our own. A never ceasing fountain is our God! We can do what we are asked to because God provides us with the strength and wisdom "to can".

Not so with the other "can" in our lives. Cans have been a fascinating and very helpful invention back in the 18th century, but today we have other, and let me say: BETTER options to store or conserve food. 

I am not picking on cans because I am running out of topics! 

You might consider cans a tiny detail in your cuisine where the convenience overthrows concerns. 
Consider this: 

I, always on the grocery store hunt for new healthy food items, invested a little over $3 in a can of wild caught tuna. You can get cans of tuna for 50cent at Aldi, but here I am thinking I am doing my health a great favor. Within minutes of consuming the tuna I noticed a quite surprisingly new sense of discomfort, we can call this "pain", in my stomach. I lived with it for a few days, but when the accompanying nausea would not settle either, I decided it was time to see my Naturopathic Doctor. Due to his specific testing he was able to pin point the cause to metal poisoning. Needless to say that I then had to invest into my health in an equally painful way, but at least after a few days I was better. 

There are many reasons as to why to stay away from (canned) processed foods, but even supposedly healthy foods found in cans can be dangerous. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that is supposed to prevent the can from deteriorating. Unfortunately it poses a high risk to our health as it is linked to many diseases, including the hormones, kidneys and the heart. BPA is even present in urine samples of adults and children alike. This all sounds very concerning to me. Of course the problem isn't limited to cans; plastic containers, such as baby bottles, can also be sources.

3 Ideas To Minimize Your BPA Exposure Drastically:

1. DO NOT rely (for the very most part) on cans. Buy the glass version instead or make from scratch.
2. DO NOT (NEVER EVER!!!!!) microwave plastic containers, unless they are microwave safe. 
3. NO PLASTIC BAGS/ FREEZER BAGS/CLING WRAP IN THE MICROWAVE!!! Thaw frozen items in warm water or leave out for a few hours instead. 

I am not going to leave you as mere can orphans, but remind you of the fantastic invention of THE CROCK POT! 

- Rather than consuming heavy sodium laden chicken soup from the can (lacking most of the nutrients you hoped to receive), make your own chicken stock and soup with the crock pot! All it takes is a little planning ahead, but the benefits will outweigh any inconvenience by far. 
- Rather than consuming beans from the can, buy organic beans or peas in bulk (Coborn's natural area for instance), leave them with enough water in the crock pot on medium heat for about 18 hours (the wonderful process of soaking!), rinse them, and eat them merrily. Leftovers stay good in the fridge for about 5 days! SO EASY!

I release you back into your day hoping that you will be blessed by learning about another way that you can be a good stewart of your own, and your families, health! 

Be blessed abundantly!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tropical Schnitzel Fish

Jesus called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
John 21, 5

Dear family in Jesus Christ!

I used to tease my husband in attempts to justify serving a fish dish that Jesus didn't conquer death and said "Haven't you any cheese burgers?". But actually he might have, if his disciples had worked on a farm or at a restaurant. But they happened to be fishers. A physically and mentally extremely demanding occupation. 

First conclusion: There is something fishy with the idea that fish is not a power food for hard working men! 

Since fish is loaded with protein it is a must in a balanced protein diet. Protein is needed by our cells to maintain and repair themselves. After physical exertion a serving of protein is simply a must. (How do you keep a fish from smelling? Cut off his nose!)

Second conclusion: It is very SMART to eat fish at least 2-3x per week!

Fish comes with the essential fatty acid Omega-3, needed to aid in, for instance, brain function. The amounts vary, but the important point is that the most qualitative Omega-3s are found in fish. Omega-3s support our health and are even thought to prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia! (Why are fish so smart? Because they spent their lives in schools!)

Third conclusion: It is an all together happy occasion to eat fish!

Studies have proven that cultures that are higher in fish and fish oil consumption have lower levels of depression. In our culture it is believed that we consume Omega-3s and Omega-6s, as found in Oils or meat, in an unhealthy balance. Guess what we ingest more often? Omega-6s are also necessary to a healthy diet, but the dose makes the poison. Adding various fish to our diet and taking a quality fish oil can be a great idea (ask your nutrition specialist). Mercury toxicity is a real threat in our time. I'd stay away from canned tuna and stick to the "wild-caught" version. If you are hooked: Here a guide to making good fish choices:

What does all that have to do with the Tropical Schnitzel Fish? That is my new recipe creation for fish. 

You will need: 

- Organic Coconut Oil
- Organic Coconut Flour (found in the natural section of Coborns)
- Fish (Really, I believe this is great with all kinds of fish (salmon, tilapia, pollock, cod, etc.), though maybe not canned tuna)

Put some coconut flour in a bigger bowl and toss your wet fish in there. Heat up coconut oil in a pan (with a lid preferably, due to fat splashing). Fry fish in pan until brown and crispy. I make it sound so easy, but you will have to experiment with heat to avoid burning little fishy. Serve with steamed veggies and/or sprouted quinoa and Voila!

As always I release you back into your day, praying that you got inspired to continuously walk towards becoming a better stewart of your body!

Be blessed eFISHiently!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Language of Love: A Home Cooked Meal

Like cold water to a thirsty soul, 
so is good news coming from a far country. 
Proverbs 25, 25

Dear family in Jesus!

Coming home last night I found a parcel addressed to me waiting in front of our door!
The feeling of waiting to open parcels from Germany is maybe best compared to a child waking  on Christmas morning. Not sure what's inside the box, but it will be great! 

My Mom sent me, enveloped in 2 pounds of German chocolate, a binder of recipes of her mother, my Grandmother, she had long been meaning to put together. Filled with photographs of her and Grandpa, of us and the cousins, uncles and aunts. I am very grateful for the loving and encouraging influence my Grandparents had on my life. I can only desire to gain the ability to see someone in the best light at all times, open my house, heart, and kitchen to extend hospitality and comfort like they were able to. 

This collection of Grandma's recipes reminds the remaining family of the God-given gift that she so willingly embraced to share with us. She would spent hours and days in the kitchen, preparing the most pleasing and taste buds exciting meals only to see her family be connected by the enjoyment and appreciation of her work. And it did work. She was the glue that held a family together. Her birthday celebration in July and Christmas gathering in December were given dates on all of our calendars. Without her we find ourselves in the process of developing a new family culture to keep the extended family connected, which proves to be challenging with members moving to all sorts of the world's continents or corners of the home country.

Since I picked up working in schools I got painfully aware that one thing I always took for granted is not a given in this country; Leaving school at 1:30pm to go home and have a home cooked meal with your mother. In a country where school ends around 4pm or later a child might even go through weeks at a time without ever having seen its parents bustle about in the kitchen or being asked to help with chopping vegetables or washing dishes. 

Why do I think that there is something wrong with that? 

1) I wish everybody got to experience the joy of someone cooking for THEM daily. Not trying to please the taste of the masses, but with them in mind while preparing the food. That truly is a language of love spoken in unmistakable words.

2) I honestly don't see a redemptive value in a fast food culture. Food is everything but fast. It takes time to grow. It takes effort to harvest. It takes patience to prepare. Once consumed it either supports the body's needs and functions or it causes damage. To prepare it in minutes and chomp it down in seconds is out of sync with the nature of food and  the creator of it. 

3) Thinking "I don't have time to cook a healthy meal" is like thinking you don't have time to go to work. If working provides you with the means to live a good life, then cooking a healthy meal provides you with the nutrients to sustain you to live that good life. 

4) I expect my meals to keep me feeling good and nourished in the long run. Sure I'll have desert or a serving of junk food on very rare occasions. But my mindset dictates my day to day choices and with that created a lifestyle that I am not easily willing to see compromised. If that means I'm preparing a meal to take to school the next day at midnight, I'll do that. 

Are you content with the status quo when it comes to the food culture in the Western World? How do we raise the bar?

We can't expect that the school/work cafeteria can provide the quality of food we need. If putting together a "to go care package" is not going to happen, let's find the time to prepare a home cooked meal for dinner, rather than warming up processed freezer food. We have virtually endless resources of healthy meal ideas and how to cook within our reach online. It might take some time to getting our recipients taste buds and the way we cook a healthy meal in sync (I've been there, it's a journey worth taking!), but like every relationship takes work and time so it is with the chef and the eater.

Dear family in Jesus, I pray that you are inspired to rearrange your priorities if necessary so you rediscover the joy of choosing ingredients, preparing and enjoying your own home cooked meal and reap the blessings that come from that!

Be blessed abundantly!