9 Steps to Finding Joy in Stress

9 simple steps on finding joy in stress. I need these right now! Great advice.

It’s been a long 6 months. Stress wouldn’t exactly be the one word I’d select to sum up my year but I’ve felt a lot of it lately.

In the grand scheme of life I know my issues are nothing. In fact, I think I’m ridiculous for even feeling stressed. My family is healthy, we have money to budget with, food to eat, and a great home to live in. My husband has a job with great health insurance and I am blessed with a part time job a block from our house that I can bring the kids to.

What more do I need? Seriously. Why should I struggle and be stressed? Why should I want more or for life to be different?

Life doesn’t always happen how I want or plan. When my dreams or ideas of how things should be differ from the reality, conflict can happen. It’s then easy for me to be unhappy and I find myself getting frustrated and stressed and worried about the future and never ending “what ifs” of life. What a miserable way to live.

When looking at stress or joy, which would I select? Easy choice there. Not that many weeks ago, I had a little perspective change and since then I’ve begun enjoying life and have been okay with where I’m at and what I’m doing – what God has put in front of me right now.

I want joy to be what I feel in our home. To be what my family feels. Joy is not from everything going according to my plans and nothing going wrong, but instead from having my perspective in the right place and letting God do His work.

As I look over the last month 9 steps to finding joy in stress come to mind:

1. Don’t dwell on the negative. When things don’t happen the way you’d like, when your child is disobedient, someone is sick, the car breaks down, the perfect opportunity falls through, you feel like your house is too run down  - don’t dwell on it! Give yourself a moment to vent and then let it go.

2. Give thanks! Keep a running list of all the little and big things you have to be thankful for. It could be something as simple as your child reaching up to grab your hand, the perfectly ripe pear, or that you have carpeting that needs to be vacuumed. Even on the worst of days, there is something we have to be thankful for.

How to take your life from stressed to joyfilled! Remember these simple principles really have made a difference in my home. NEED to read!

3. Memorize Scripture. This will enable you to replace the negative thoughts with life giving words. It’s easier to not dwell on the negative if we have something to replace those thoughts with.

4. Exercise. Doing something physical, even for just a few minutes, can really help clear your mind and give you energy to face the next task. 10 minutes of pilates, a 20 minute run, or quick power walk pushing the kids in the stroller all can make a difference.

5. See the Big Picture. When life happens, it’s so easy for me to only be able to focus on the circumstance that just happened. It helps to remember what you are doing, why you are doing it – to always remember that God really is in control.

6. Break it Down. Sometimes stress can be caused by a situation, task, or goal seeming impossible. A mountain of debt, large savings goal, parenting struggle, or medical problem is daunting. Finding a new job is a big thing. Break your task (source of stress) down. Try having monthly goals or celebrating every thousand dollars saved. Focus on applying to so many jobs each week. You might even be able to make your daunting task a little fun. Instead of worrying about the uncertainties of the future, get through the next doctors visit or surgery and face one day at a time instead of trying to face all the unknown future at once.

7. Eat Right. Too much sugar (maybe even any sugar) really can affect our mood and behavior as can processed foods. Decrease or cut them out of your diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and plenty of healthy fats. I noticed a big difference in my mood and emotions during our Whole30. During it I became less irritated and stressed.

8. Get Enough Sleep. When I don’t sleep, my ability to handle stress decreases. Everything seems a way bigger deal than it really is. Sneak in a nap. Go to bed 20 minutes earlier. Maybe even give yourself a little grace on your morning wake up time.

9. Have Visual Reminders. Tape quotes and scripture verses to your computer monitor, the bathroom mirror, and above the kitchen stink. Take the word you want to focus on and make it a piece of art to hang on your wall.

How to take your life from stressed to joyfilled! Remember these simple principles really have made a difference in my home. NEED to read!

Dayspring has just come out with a new line of art – Letterpress Blocks. You can put together your own words, numbers symbols. The block come in different sizes and fonts.

  • Do you have a favorite scripture? Add the reference to your decor.
  • A word you are trying to live (such as joy)? Add it to your wall so you are always thinking of it.
  • How about your last name or the year your family was established? Yep, you can do that as well.

Head to the Letterblocks Interface on Dayspring’s website and you can put together your words and see what sizes and fonts you like the best and come up with a new piece of art to put on your wall!

As I continue to try and focus on joy during this season of my life, I’m going to be hanging the word in a prominent place where I can be continually reminded to keep my focus in the right place.

How do you combat the stress in your life? What word or phrase would you choose to hang on your wall from the Letterpress Block Collection by Dayspring?

9 simple steps on finding joy in stress. I need these right now! Great advice.

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Easy and Healthy Menu Plan and Goals

A week filled with World Series watching (well, I’ve only watched partial games but my husband is a huge Royals fan so every game has been on), a day trip to the zoo, a concert, and regular life made the last 7 days fly by and left not a lot of time for extra projects.

Easy and Healthy Menu Plan and Goals for our family of 4!

Regular life takes up a lot of time when the boy child is a human tornado. Every thing he touches is destroyed. :-) We need to do better about staying on top of keeping doors closed. He even managed to get toilet paper inside the toilet bowl. . .

Easy and Healthy Menu Plan and Goals for our family of 4!

It was our first zoo trip in over a year – both kids loved it! The 17 month old was entranced and kept pointing and saying “wow”. The aquarium, elephants, and rhinoceros were the highlights. It’s always fun when the animals are active and playing.

Easy and Healthy Menu Plan and Goals for our family of 4!

Black Bean and Corn Spaghetti Squash


  • Black Bean & Corn Spaghetti Squash x 2
  • Black Bean Soup
  • Egg Rolls
  • Lentil Soup
  • Quinoa Burgers from the (affiliate link) 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook
  • Leftovers


  • Sandwiches
  • Apple Pancakes
  • Salads for Shaun and me and leftovers, bean tostadas, and sweet potatoes for the kids


This weeks goals are going to look a lot like last week. Besides the essentials, a lot of extras didn’t get done. Hopefully this week we can make good progress on some of the extras.

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday

Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream

Oh my goodness! This homemade apple pie ice cream is incredible - all time favorite for our entire family. MUST make. (Plan for extra pie this Thanksgiving!)

Vanilla ice cream and apple pie, also known as my husband’s favorite dessert. Combine the two together and you have perfection. Creamy vanilla ice cream with a touch of cinnamon and real apple pie bites mixed in and you have the perfect fall dessert. Ice cream is the ideal ending to any meal, even as the outdoor temperatures cool down and this recipe proves it.

I have an addiction to homemade ice cream. In fact, my automatic ice cream maker is my favorite kitchen appliance.

After months of thinking about it, we finally experimented and made Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream. Let me tell you, it should have happened a long time ago. This recipe is a winner. My husband declared the ice cream exceptional and a good friend said it was her favorite ice cream of the many I’ve made so far!

I made this ice cream lightly sweetened because I knew the apple pie was going to be added and we all thought it was perfect. You can make the pie from scratch or purchase one.

Also, if you have an immediate ice cream craving and don’t want to take the time to cook  and cool the ice cream, simply combine all the ingredients (making sure the cream and milk are thoroughly chilled – if you just bought it from the store, it won’t be cold enough) excluding the pie in the blender (or use beaters and a bowl) and combine well and pour into the ice cream maker. (If you don’t like eating raw eggs, you can leave the yolks out.) Freeze according to machine instructions and mix in pie at the end.

Don’t forget to check out my tips for using your automatic ice cream maker!

Oh my goodness! This homemade apple pie ice cream is incredible - all time favorite for our entire family. MUST make. (Plan for extra pie this Thanksgiving!)Plan to have extra apple pie after your Thanksgiving dinner this year, you won’t regret it!

Apple Pie Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup honey (or ½ cup white sugar)
  • dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ of an apple pie

  1. Put dairy, honey, arrowroot powder, cinnamon and a dash of salt in a pan over low heat. Use a whisk to stir as mixture heats.
  2. Combine egg yolks and honey in a small bowl.
  3. Slowly add ½-1 cup of the of heated cream to the egg yolks (stirring constantly). Then slowly add the egg mixture to the pan of cream, whisking constantly.
  4. Heat the ice cream mixture gently until it thickens slightly. (Don’t let it come to a boil.) It will take around 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  6. As the ice cream mixture cools, stir it occasionally to keep a skim from forming on the top.
  7. Put ice cream into the refrigerator and chill at least 6 hours.
  8. Put mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions.
  9. Chop apple pie into bite sized pieces and stir into the frozen ice cream.
  10. Serve immediately or put in freezer to have a more solid ice cream.


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Whole30 Breakfast Ideas

20 Whole30 breakfast ideas and recipes! Great resource for healthy breakfasts - the hardest for me to come up with recipes for. (My FAVORTIE breakfast casserole is on this list)

We recently completed our first Whole30. The hardest menu items for me to come up with were for breakfast. I’ve never been a huge breakfast person, but I found myself waking up starving every morning so not eating wasn’t an option. I needed food!

This list is an awesome resource of recipes and ideas that are all Whole30 approved and even if you aren’t eating paleo, this list of Whole30 breakfast ideas is full of great options to feed your family each morning. (I’m in love with the first recipe on the list and sweet potato hash browns. Both recipes find their way into our plates frequently.)

20 Whole30 Breakfast Ideas

What are your favorite breakfast foods? Any great grain and dairy free ideas to share?

I have other round ups of Whole30 approved recipes to share with you in the next weeks too – Suppers and lunches, soups, and snacks! If you have any recipes I should add to those lists, leave them in the comments.

Linking up to these fun parties!

Easy and Healthy Menu Plan and Goals

Is it nap time yet?

We had an amazing 8 days in Texas with my family celebrating the marriage of one of my sisters. All 8 siblings (and their families) and our parents were together at the same time for the first time in over a year and a half. It was a blast getting to visit, make desserts for the reception, play with my sister’s kids, and spend time with all my family.

Easy and Healthy Menu Plan for the week! Lots of tasty recipes that don't require a lot of time in the kitchen plus the list of things I hope to get accomplished.

All the siblings!

We stayed a few extra days after the wedding and got some projects done (including sewing a Christmas stocking for my 17 month old and 2 ring slings I bought fabric for months ago), do a little thrift store shopping, activities with my two kids, and go to a couple of my sisters’ Community Group.

The smartest thing we did on this trip was come home on Thursday so that both of us had off work on Friday! It was amazing to have three days to get unpacked and caught up on things around the house. We even did a little organizing and yard work. There is still more to go, but we made progress. Much better than coming home late on Sunday and having no time to get caught up before heading into the week.

This is the first post Whole30 menu I’ve had to make and I’m looking forward to eating legumes and dairy again. :-)

If you’ve missed the posts the past few weeks, be sure to check out my 10 Ways to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Budget and the posts I’ve shared for Minister Appreciation Month: 10 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor, Gift Ideas for Your Pastor, and Gift Ideas for Your Pastor’s Family.

Easy and Healthy Menu Plan for the week! Lots of tasty recipes that don't require a lot of time in the kitchen plus the list of things I hope to get accomplished.

Potato Sausage and Kale Soup






Breakfasts (Combination of the following):


  • My sisters and mom helped me get some stuff done for the next craft show and starting an Etsy shop for the earrings, lip balms, and room sprays while we were in Texas, so that was great! Now I need to work on making a few more items and still put together signage for the booth.
  • Work on starting to write a subscriber freebie
  • Write 2 more posts
  • Exercise!!! (This didn’t happen at all when we were on vacation)
  • Review Bible verses and start a new one
  • Read a couple more chapters in (aff link) When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself (again, didn’t do any reading on vacation)
  • Go to the PO Box before the first community concert of the season and do a deposit record after the concert. (An amazing 14 year old classical pianist!)

What are your goals for the week?
If you need an easy and yummy recipe for dinner, check out these Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs:
These are incredible and can be in the oven in 5 minutes! Super flavorful and crispy on the outside and tender perfect on the inside. | I'm adding these to my menu this week!







Linking up to Menu Plan Monday

Gift Ideas for My Pastor’s Wife and Children

Great list of gift ideas and ways to encourage your pastor's spouse and children! Perfect for Minister Appreciation Month, the holidays, and their birthdays! Must Pin!

We have Ways to Encourage Pastors and Gift Ideas for Pastors already covered. There is an important group of people missing, though. Our pastor’s families also sacrifice a lot with all the time spent on call, visiting in the hospital, dealing with stressful situations, and having an unpredictable life.

Birthday’s, holidays, and Minister Appreciation Month are all the perfect time to do a little something for them to let them know we appreciate their service to our church as well.

Andrea, a pastor’s wife in the Twin Cities and mother of 3 young children, is back again today to share some gift ideas with us.

Guest Post by Andrea

Gift Ideas for My Pastor’s Wife and Children:

1. Arrange for someone to bring a meal for your pastor and his family twice a week during the month of October. Find out their likes/dislikes and allergies! If you know your pastor loves brownies, make him a pan!

2. How about maid-service? (Know your pastor! If they wouldn’t feel comfortable with you cleaning their house, why not give them a certificate to a cleaning company?)

3. Give a gift to your pastor’s wife.

  • Gift cards addressed to her for: spa/hair salon, coffee shop, favorite clothing store. (Please don’t offer to take her shopping – this can be very awkward! Instead, give her a gift card and offer to babysit her kids while she goes out shopping.)
  • Take her out for a movie or coffee.
  • Send her flowers on her birthday.
  • If she enjoys outdoor activities, take her out for hiking, tennis, boating, etc.

4. Practical ways to encourage your pastor’s wife.

  • Write her a note of encouragement and appreciation.
  • Pray for her instead of criticizing and judging her.
  • Don’t listen to or participate in gossip about her.
  • Give her grace: she is human just like you. Don’t hold her up to your expectations: pastor’s wives are not all the same. They are uniquely made by God with personality, talents, strengths and spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit determined were best for them. Some are introverts, some are extroverts. Some can play piano, others cannot. Some love to serve in children’s ministry, others do not. Some are called to women’s ministries, others are not! Allow them to be who God created them to be, not who you expect them to be. 

4. Don’t forget your pastor’s children!

  • Give them a gift card especially for them (ice cream shop?), or take the family somewhere fun (waterpark, indoor playground, disc golf, etc.)!
  • Make each child a gift basket of their own with their favorite items.
  • Write them a note of encouragement and appreciation.
  • Pray for them.
  • Give them grace: they are humans just like everyone else’s kids. Give them freedom to make mistakes, freedom to learn and mature.. If you have a concern, talk to your pastor lovingly about it as you would want someone to talk to you about your own children. (Don’t have different expectations for his children than you do for your own!)
  • Don’t listen to or participate in gossip about your pastor’s children. Take a stand in that moment and remind the gossiper that they are just children who are in the process of becoming more and more like Jesus, just like all of us.

5. Give the pastor and his wife time together. Give them a gift card to a restaurant and babysitting services. Don’t just offer to babysit the kids, ask them specifically, “Can we schedule an evening for me to babysit your kids?” Many times they might feel awkward to approach YOU with a request to babysit. It’s better if you approach THEM with a specific offer.

6. Respect their family time! Avoid calling their husband and father on his day off, or during dinner hours or on vacation.

7. Remember them on their birthdays and anniversaries! Send a card in the mail. Pray for them.

What are you favorite ways to honor your Pastor’s family?
If you missed the earlier posts, don’t forget to check out Ways to Encourage Your Pastor and Gift Ideas for Pastors.

Linking up to these fun parties!

Gift Ideas for Your Pastor

Gifts ideas for pastors. Every October during Minister Appreciation Month I find myself searching for frugal and creative options. Gifts that will actually be used or are meaningful that I can purchase on my budget.

Great gift ideas for pastors! Some are free and others require money. Perfect for Pastor Appreciation Month and the holidays. Even written by a pastor's wife.

Last week my sister shared 10 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor and today she’s back to give us some gift ideas for your pastor that are free and some that require finances.

Guest Post by Andrea

Gifts ideas that don’t require finances

1. Give him your time. Volunteer to spend a Saturday at his home to help with around the house projects: mowing, painting, fall clean up, window washing – you name it! (These are never ending at our house!) If you are handy with tools help him renovate part of his home. If you are handy with cars give him an oil change and tune up.

2. Plan a potluck/picnic in honor of your pastor. Plan to serve his favorite food (steak, anyone?).

3. Don’t rely on your pastor to reach your community. Do your part! Bring your friends! Invite them to small groups, services, picnics and special events. Invite your friends for dinner or a game night and invite your pastor over to meet them.

4. In the same way, don’t rely on your pastor to care for those in your church. Visit someone in the hospital, send flowers to someone who had a baby, make a meal for a family who is going through sickness. Call a family who missed church.

4. Wash and service his car for him! (Or give him full service car wash certificates.) We constantly use our family cars for ministry – picking up and dropping off people for services, Bible studies and kids programs. We LOVE to have a clean car but don’t always have time to keep up with it. Unfortunately many people have had to sit in Goldfish and Cheerio crumbs!

5. Do a church service day, if you own your facility. Everyone show up to help organize/clean/spring clean. Sometimes pastors have a lot of pressure on them to care for the facility but little time to follow through. (Please do this in conjunction with something more personal.)

6. Check with your local Christian bookstore or radio station to see if they are doing a giveaway for pastors during October: nominate them!

7. Sit in the front row during services!

Gift ideas that require finances

1. Gift cards are always a good idea. (Clothing stores, restaurants, movie theatre, coffee shop, grocery store)

2. Personalized T-shirt, coffee mug, bumper sticker, etc. “Best Pastor” or “We Love Our Pastor” from the congregation

3. Ask his wife for a list of his favorite things. (Chocolate, soda, candy, fishing gear, coffee, baseball caps, etc.) Put together a gift basket from the congregation!

3. Hobby-related gifts (i.e. golf clubs for the golfer)

4. Photography session (if you’re not a photographer, consider gifting him and his family with a certificate for a free session with a photographer)

5. Take him out (or give him tickets) to a sporting event, dinner theatre or orchestra.

6. Consider giving him a paid sabbatical or an all-expense paid vacation.

7. Cash. Sometimes it’s best just to give him cash. He may have needs that you are not aware of!

What are your favorite gifts ideas for your pastor? If you are in ministry, what are the favorite gifts you’ve been given?

Be sure to come back on Thursday for ideas on what you can do for your Pastor’s family.

Linking up to these fun parties!

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

Sometimes you just want a piece of good chicken on the bone. These crispy baked chicken thighs are spectacular. Crispy and well seasoned on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside.

These are incredible and can be in the oven in 5 minutes! Super flavorful and crispy on the outside and tender perfect on the inside. | I'm adding these to my menu this week!

One of the best things about this meal, I can have them ready to bake before the oven is preheated! Simply serve with fruit and roasted veggies for a meal you can have prepared in minutes or maybe along side Broccoli Pasta or Alfredo and a nice salad for a dressed up dinner at home.

If you’d rather use drumsticks (I always make a drumstick for my youngest), simply reduce the baking time by a few minutes. However you do it, your family will thank you – these  crispy baked chicken thighs are definitely husband and child approved.

Now, let’s get on to the recipes. This could be what’s for dinner tonight.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 bone-in skin on chicken thighs

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with seasoning and place on a rimmed pan.
  4. Bake for 30, or until chicken is cooked through.


These are incredible and can be in the oven in 5 minutes! Super flavorful and crispy on the outside and tender perfect on the inside. | I'm adding these to my menu this week!

Linking up to these fun parties!

Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

10 Easy Ways to Encourage Your Pastor! Great things to do during Minister Appreciation month. There's even a printable list of things to pray for your pastor.

Guest Post by Andrea

We are entering into the month designated for “Pastor Appreciation”. Today I have a great list of ideas of ways to encourage and bless your pastor. God’s Word exhorts us to “Respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work…” 1 Thessalonians 5:12

My husband pastors a small church in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.  We are blessed to serve a loving, graceful community of believers, and have often been overwhelmed by the love they have shown our family over the years.  Although we have a difficult job at times, we are honored that God has called us and privileged to be in such a loving community!

These simple gifts of encouragement will mean so much to your pastor, and we can all do them.

10 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

1. Write him a (detailed) note of why you appreciate him, and give a specific example of a situation where God used him to touch your life.

2. Pray for him daily and send him a note now and then to let them know that you were praying for them. (Want a copy of the 12 ways to Pray for Your Pastor? Keep reading!)

How to pray for your pastor?

  • Pray specific Scriptures over him and his family.
  • Pray for his spiritual life to flourish.
  • Pray that he will be strong in the face of opposition
  • Pray that he will flee temptation
  • Pray that he will be spiritually “wise” and equipped for battle (Ephesians 6)
  • Pray that he is sensitive to the leading and conviction of the Holy Spirit
  • Pray that he has wisdom to balance ministry, family and other responsibilities
  • Pray that he fixes his eyes on the eternal reward and doesn’t get discouraged
  • Pray that he humbles himself continually before God
  • Pray for he and his wife: that they would be unified, give one another support and understanding, and that they would fight for their marriage on their knees and with their time.
  • Pray for he and his children: that he would spend sufficient time with them, validate and affirm them and that he would be present and available.
  • Pray that God would grant him breakthrough in his ministry: that he would see lives transformed!

If you’d like to have a copy of these ways to prayer for your pastor to print off an hang on your fridge or put in your Bible, you can download a copy here!

3. Drop him a note during the week to comment on one aspect of his sermon that stuck with you during the week. It will encourage him to know you’re listening! During the sermon, interact: nod your head, smile, and pay attention!

4. Respect your pastor! We, more than anyone else, feel inept and unqualified for what we do but we remember that God called the stuttering Moses to speak to Pharoah. It’s not your pastor’s qualifications that should  earn your respect, it’s the call of God on his life. When you disrespect your pastor you are ultimately disrespecting God. One simple way of showing respect is to call him by his title. “Pastor.”

5. Part of respect is open communication. Don’t talk about your pastor: talk honestly TO him! Respect does not mean hiding your feelings, not asking questions. It means to prayerfully, wisely, discreetly and lovingly address them to him.

6. Another aspect of respect is not to participate in or listen to gossip about your pastor. If you hear gossip, have the courage to stop and address it. Encourage the gossiper to meet with the pastor to discuss. Or, tell the gossiper something positive about your pastor. Give a public affirmation of your pastor in this situation.

7. One more aspect of respect: don’t evaluate and judge how your pastor and his family spend their money. This is easy to do when “you” are paying his salary! Yes, they should be good stewards of their finances, but be graceful, knowing that this may look different for their family than it does for your family. Remember Samuel’s admonition to Jesse that God does not look at the outward appearance but at the heart.

8. Ask your pastor if there is any volunteer needs in the church. Be willing to step in, do something different, do something you haven’t done before!

9. Verbally and publically recognize your pastor. Ask your church leadership (elders) if you can share a testimony or appreciation of your pastor on their designated “clergy appreciation Sunday”.

10. Participate in the community life of your church. Attend small groups and potlucks and prayer meetings. Tithe. Volunteer. This is a huge encouragement for your pastor!

Next week, I’ll be sharing ideas on gifts for your pastor (even ones that are free) and how you can also encourage his wife and children. I hope these are a help to you as you try to bless your pastor during Minister Appreciation Month!

Don’t forget to download the 12 Ways to Prayer for Your Pastor:
12 Ways to Prayer for Your Pastor! Great resource to print off and put in your Bible. Could even give a copy to your pastor to let him know you are prayer for him.

Post by Andrea 

Linking up to these fun parties!

Whole30 Recap for Week 4

We have finally finished our first Whole30! Here is the recap for our last week.

Whole30 is completed! We are done and there was much rejoicing. I’m ready to do some baking again. These 30 days have actually gone by quickly and the overall experience has been pretty fun, dare I say.

Reminder: Who exactly is doing this challenge?

My husband and myself and our 16 month old and 3 1/2 year old. The kids are eating what we eat for the most part but the 16 month old still eats oatmeal for breakfast (no dairy in it though) and on occasion a rice cake. The 3 year old has an option of oatmeal for breakfast, but she’s only had a couple of bites. She used to love oatmeal, but it just hasn’t been her thing lately.

How Did We Feel?

Okay, so we all felt great again during the last part of our Whole30. The big difference for me though, is that the last week I’ve just been ready to be done! Weeks 2 and 3 I really didn’t think about off plan foods. This past week I have! Peanut butter, cheese, baking, oats, chocolate, beans are just a few of the things that have been filling my mind. Physically I’ve been doing great though and have had enough energy to get through my to do lists even on little sleep.


What’s the plan going forward? I’m looking forward to incorporating legumes and cheese back into our diets. We will also add back in grains and wheat but hope to limit the quantities. We’ll also be watching how our bodies respond to these foods more closely now and hopefully adjusting as we need to.

What Did We Eat?

We have finally finished our first Whole30! Here is the recap for our last week.

Chicken Salad, Sweet Potato Hash browns, Sweet Potato Breakfast Casseroleand Chicken Curry Soup 

Breakfasts: for the last 9 days we ate leftover sweet potato breakfast casserole (still my favorite), scrambled eggs, hash browns (made from sweet potatoes is my other favorite breakfast food), and scrambled eggs and veggies baked in muffin tins.

Lunches: The trends from the first weeks continued and Shaun and I had salads while the kids had leftovers or sweet potatoes for week day lunches. We also had Rosemary Chicken Salad served on lettuce and Paleo Sweet Potato Chili.

Suppers:  We had a Ginger Beef/Broccoli/Carrot stir fry type thing, Chicken Curry Soup, Chicken and Veggie Soup, Crispy Chicken Thighs (recipe coming this Friday), and leftovers of all the above. Leftovers rock! I’ve been spending way more time in the kitchen for breakfasts and lunches than I normally do, so leftovers are a life saver.

Snacks: Nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruits and veggies

Just for fun, I asked my husband and daughter what food they want the most after the 30 days are up. Shaun’s request – pizza. Kenna’s first thought was bread with peanut butter. When I asked her if there was anything else she added “snack supper with popcorn and homemade ice cream”. What I want is alfredo sauce. I don’t even care about the noodles. I’d eat it plain or over sweet potatoes – I just want the butter and cheese. :-)

The Results:

Number wise, over the last 30 days I lost 10 pounds and 1/2-1 inch on my thighs, hips, waist. I have also spend the past 30 days exercising 5 days a week – power walking with the double stroller and doing 10 minutes of pilates, so I’m sure it has been a combination of the two.

And that’s our last Whole30 recap! Even though is has been time consuming, expensive, and a little hard with social events it has been good and worth it!

Linking up to these fun parties!