What I Ate (Intuitively) Wednesday

If you’re an avid food blog reader, you’ve seen occasional “What I Ate Wednesday” posts. I think a lot of these are great and can give some fun food inspiration, but to be honest, a lot of them also seem to promote disordered eating. A quarter cup of oatmeal topped with three blueberries for breakfast is not a meal, people! That is a snack, at best! Maybe those people really aren’t hungry or something? Anyway. Something I have gradually become more passionate about is FREEDOM in regards to food and body image. I see so many people enslaved to what our culture tells us to look like and eat, and I know for a fact that is not how Jesus intends for us to live (holla at Galatians 5:1 if you don’t believe me!). I know from experience that this way of living is shallow and meaningless; a dead-end road that leads only to a perpetual cycle of self-absorption. NO THANKS.

That being said, I thought it would be fun to share my version of “What I Ate Wednesday,” not as a means of comparison, but rather to share what a day of intuitive eating looks like for me. Key words- for me! That’s the beauty of intuitive eating – when we are actually listening to our bodies, we will be free to eat what we want and how much we want without comparing ourselves to other people who have completely different bodies and lives than we do.

I want to set the stage for this post with a beautiful quote I read recently:

“We become so fixated on the food we eat- or don’t eat- that we fail to realize food itself is not our enemy. Food is a good gift from a loving Father, given to turn our hearts and minds to Him in worship.”Asheritah Ciuciu

Preach it, Asheritah! Ok, here we go:

coffee

I love love love getting up early in the mornings (poor Josh) and typically start my day with a cup of coffee as I read the Bible and journal. This makes such a big difference in how the rest of my day goes! Side note: I like to use coconut milk as my coffee creamer- it makes it taste almost (almost!) like a latte.

This particular Wednesday morning I ended up having enough time to make buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, which are one of my faves.

wiaw1

I cooked this bad boy in coconut oil so the bananas would get all sweet and caramelized and it was the best decision ever. I topped the pancake with sunflower seed butter and maple syrup that my cousins in Ohio tapped themselves!

Since I eat breakfast pretty early, I always get a little snacky before my lunch break at noon. I rarely have time for “real” snacks and usually just grab something in between patients. On this day I had a heart-shaped Reese’s to tide me over. We can all agree that candy in holiday shapes tastes way better, right?!

wiaw2

Normally I am on top of my lunch game, but this past week I worked on Sunday which is when I usually prep meals. I decided to throw together chopped sweet potato and black beans and then added a lime dressing, cumin, and smoked paprika. (Cumin + smoked paprika = best friends.) Once at work, I added half of an avocado. For being thrown together last minute, this meal was pretty good and also very filling!

wiaw3

After work I ran some errands and snacked on this trail mix I made with peanuts, raisins, and banana chips. Um… why has no one told me about banana chips before?! They are so good!

wiaw4

Once I got home, Josh and I did a quick 20 minute workout together at our apartment gym. I’m convinced that workouts are Josh’s love language, so we try to do them together a couple times a week depending on our schedules!

wiaw5

That evening we had a neighbor over for dinner and I made turkey burgers with sweet potato fries and roasted broccoli. You guys, this was the easiest and tastiest meal ever. The burgers and buns were from Trader Joe’s, and then I just used frozen broccoli and frozen Alexia sweet potato fries for the sides. The whole thing only took about 30 minutes to come together. (Don’t you worry- I had double the fries pictured!)

wiaw6.jpg

Our friend brought over these Harris Teeter chocolate chip cookies for dessert and they were so legit. I love having something sweet to end the night. This is a great example of intuitive eating for me- instead of resisting sweets, I choose the ones I like and let myself fully enjoy them. There is no need to trash up your precious mind with thoughts of calories, sugar, guilt, or the need to “burn off” “bad” foods. Food is morally neutral, and besides that, there are some things that are just good for the soul.

If you made it to the end of this post then I commend you, faithful reader. Now go enjoy some delicious food!

Confessions of a Control Freak

I have a confession to make. At various times in my life, I have attempted to exercise control over the following things/people/situations: my relationships, I-40 traffic, random people in line in front of me at the grocery store, my wedding day, my body, others’ perceptions of me, my family, my husband, our apartment, my hair… The list goes on, unfortunately. But as I continue to seek God and His will for my life, I’m realizing that it isn’t about control at all. It’s about surrendering to something better- namely, God’s Spirit.

pic
[Rebekah Senter Photography]
Oh how I love Romans 8! It says:

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. -Romans 8:6

Our minds are going to be “controlled” by something- that is just the way we’re wired. And if we aren’t in Christ, our default control system will be the sinful nature we inherited from Adam.

According to Galatians 5:19-22, when we follow the desires of our sinful nature, the results include idolatry, quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, and basically everything else that we don’t actually want in our lives. I’ve been there, and it isn’t fun. It isn’t how we were created to live.

BUT!

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” -Galatians 5:22-23

Yes- those are the things I’m always searching for. [Enter girl-raising-hand-emoji here.] All my misguided grasping at control is really an attempt to manhandle this fruit of the Spirit into my life. The problem is, I can only produce that fruit if I stay connected to Jesus and surrender to Him. He tells us, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

What a gracious Savior- we surrender to Him and He gives us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

tulips

Surrendering to Jesus is a daily, often hourly journey for me. Some days it seems that I wake up back at square one- my mind buzzing with anxieties and grievances. I want to learn to surrender those to Him and, in return, receive love and joy and peace and all the other good fruit that I am incapable of producing on my own.

To quote my favorite band, All Sons and Daughters, “Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender.” I’m praying that all of us, myself included, would experience the freedom that comes only with surrender.

Loving Lately [#8]

1. Bull City Burger and Brewery: Last weekend, Josh and I met up with his parents and brother for dinner in Durham. I am by no means a burger connoisseur, but these things were gooooood. I got a classic burger topped with caramelized onions, sauerkraut, and pickles. Plus some incredible sweet potato fries on the side. Definitely want to come back here!

burger

2. Yoga with Adriene: I go through phases where all I want to do is yoga, and I think it’s safe to say that I am in one of those phases right now. Instead of spending approximately 1 billion dollars on a yoga studio membership, I just grab my mat and my phone and do Adriene’s videos at our apartment gym!

3. Intuitive Eating book: We live in a world that vilifies “unhealthy” food, glorifies “healthy” food, and all but worships being thin and fit. As someone with an interest in health but also a propensity to be a rule follower, I can easily get bogged down in diet dogma and start listening to our culture instead of my own body. This book has reminded me that my body can be trusted to tell me when it wants a burger and fries (see above!) and when it wants some veggies. I recommend this book to anyone who is sick of listening to what the media tells us about food/fitness/our bodies and is ready to take ownership of these things.

4. James: Mercy Triumphs bible study: It’s been a good minute since I did a structured Bible study like this, and so far I am loving it! There are guided readings each day, and so many great insights/historical points that I would likely never find on my own. I have enjoyed learning more about James, a man who knew Jesus well and therefore has so much relevant wisdom for us.

james

5. 14,000 things to be happy about desk calendar: I just moved into a new office at work and have loved brightening it up with little plants and photos and such. This desk calendar legitimately makes me smile every morning! It really is the little things.

calendar
(source)

That’s all for now- hope you all have a great weekend and do something that brings you JOY!