Sweets and Treats

Z’s Vanilla Blueberry Muffins

Sugar-Free, THM-E, Low fat

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In honor of this lovely “love day”, I wanted to share a wonderfully sweet recipe with you! These muffins are so delicious that you won’t be able to resist!

These muffins are so moist and fluffy! The amazing thing is…they have no eggs, no butter and very little fat!!!

Yes please!

Never mind the kids!

I wanted to create a filling and sweet muffin that was packed with nutrition and healthy carbs that would energizing for a “on-the-go” mom like me! Not to mention my kiddos that are constantly hungry!

I was worried that they would be too bland, but they were far from that! My kids absolutely loved the sweet vanilla flavor and of course, the blueberries!

But, never mind the kids….I freaking loved them!!!!

I have a confession-I kind of hid these from the kids after I tried them. Yes, I just admitted that. Haha! But, that’s just how good these bad boys are!

Perfect for those “on the go” mornings when you need a nutritious breakfast, but don’t have time to make anything. They are also great for snacks! The other great thing is, they have just the right amount of sweetness to them… you can add a dollop of whipped cream, and they’ll even pass for dessert! Bam! These are amazing muffins!

But, the kids though….

Ok, ok…I do love my kids, and sometimes I share my favorite yummy recipes with them! But I especially love it when they help me with my photo shoots!

Jesse and the muffins
“Jesse, I’ll let you have a muffin if you smile by the muffins…”
“Jesse…can you look at the muffins please?”

Would you look at those eyes! Watch out girls!

But seriously, these muffins are very filling, so even after my kids have one or two, they get filled up! That’s the great thing about baking in a nutritious way. Nutrition allows you to be full with healthy fuels!

It allows you to eat “with a purpose”, and not to just curb your appetite. Eating nutritiously can be so yummy and so rewarding too!

blueberries

 

These muffins are chock-full of healthy carbohydrates, and not to mention, lovely blueberries!

Josiah
“Mama, take my picture too!”
josiah and the muffins
“so yummy!”

Blueberries Everywhere!

What makes these muffins so amazingly moist when there is no butter in sight? Here’s the secret ingredients: cottage cheese and greek yogurt! Before you frown, just try them. You won’t be frowning anymore!

Also, they have that subtle and delicious buttery flavor…without the butter! Yay for THM-E snacks that are absolutely delicious, but ON PLAN!!!! I love the THM way!

I added two whole 8 ounce containers of blueberries to these muffins! Blueberries everywhere! There aint’ nothin’ wrong with enjoying God’s wonderful creation of blueberries! Don’t skimp on this recipe!

So, without further adieu, here is this awesome recipe! Hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I enjoy them!

Yields 2 dozen muffins

Z’s Vanilla Blueberry Muffins

A moist and delicious blueberry muffin that is irresistible!!!

10 minPrep Time

16 minCook Time

26 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup cottage cheese (2%)
  • 1 (5.3 oz) tub of vanilla oikos 000 yogurt
  • 1 tsp butter extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup vanilla (unsweetened) almond milk
  • 1 cup gentle sweet
  • 3 tbs super sweet blend
  • 1/2 cup sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups oat flour (I just ground them up first in my Vitamix blender)
  • 1/4 cup oat fiber
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 scoops collagen
  • 2 8oz containers of fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all wet ingredients in a stand mixer until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until thoroughly mixed
  5. Once mixed, add blueberries and mix for 10-20 second. (You don't want to mix the blueberries for too long, because they will get crushed.)
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges are golden
Cuisine: American |
7.6.7
20
https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/02/14/zs-vanilla-blueberry-muffins/

 

Healthy Mom · Home

Monday Motivation

“In the Trenches…”

Hey y’all! This weekend was a very busy weekend for me. I had three sick kids last week, and I got a smaller version of their cold. It was a very sleepless week, and a busy weekend of nursing kids back to health and trying to stay healthy through it all! I feel all of that sleeplessness and busy-ness catching up to me.

I feel like I am in a “season” of “being in the trenches”. The “trenches” being…having 4 kids under the age of 8 years-old, homeschooling, taking care of my husband and side jobs etc. All that, coupled with eating right, trying to get enough exercise, planning meals, budgeting and overall, trying to stay sane.

It can be daunting at times, but I promise that in the long run…it’s SO WORTH IT! I always say that “consistency pays off”, and I believe that with all my heart!

Never Settle!

Although we all have those crazy kind of weeks from time to time, I just want to encourage you to never settle for less!

When we get stressed or exhausted, sometimes it is easy to “settle” and just “let yourself go”. What I mean by that is, letting ourselves become “ok” with being less-than healthy. Less-than energetic. Less-than motivated to do the important things in life.

Eating right, exercising and getting rest is crucial for these seasons of being “in the trenches”. Without them, it is easy and almost inevitable to become lethargic, depressed and worst of all…unhealthy in every way!

I’ve been there!

It is easy to lose the motivation to be consistent, and to become distracted with things that really don’t matter (I.e. the latest greatest show on tv, the newest fad diet, Etc).

Here are some simple tricks…

Pick a healthy lifestyle, be more active and try to see the blessings all around you. Those are the keys to succeeding in consistency!

Monday Motivation…

So, this is my “short and sweet” Monday Motivation. Here it is in a “nutshell”…

  • Know that you are not alone in this season of “being in the trenches”.
  • Be consistent in a healthy lifestyle (however that looks like for you).
  • Never settle! Even when you feel like giving up…Keep at it!

You can do it! You got this!

Maybe I am weird, but I am my biggest motivational speaker! I always think to myself, “I’ve got this! This season is only a few years long! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!”

There really is only few years where we have the full attention of our kids. That is sometimes hard for me to remember. I get frustrated very easily, and lose patience. But, when it all comes down to it…this season is short! Our kids are only kids for a short while. They are only under our influence for a little bit of time!

Let this be an encouragement to you, if you are in the “trenches”. Be motivated! Keep at it! Never Settle!

God Bless!

-Z

 

Breakfast

Z’s Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

Sugar-Free, THM-E, Protein packed

Happy Saturday! You made it to the weekend! Maybe you are lounging in your p.j.’s (like me), drinking your morning cup of coffee and wondering what you want to cook for breakfast? Look no farther!

Saturday Morning Breakfast

stack of pancakes

In lieu of this being a Saturday morning, I wanted to share a “Saturday morning worthy” breakfast. I created these beauties a couple of weekends ago, and they were a smash hit!

I mean, hey, Who doesn’t want a huge stack of pancakes on a Saturday morning?

My boys are always asking, “mommy, can you please make pancakes?” The thing is, with them growing by the minute, they seem to be growing an extra stomach at the same time! I swear, these kids are gonna put me out of business!

syrup

I have said before that we don’t use a lot of sugar around the house, and that is true, but on some Saturdays with yummy pancakes, sometimes you just have to have some good old fashion syrup. I like to buy the ones that do not have high fructose in them, but hey…let’s face it…Sugar is sugar.

In these instances though, I like to see the kids enjoying some syrup on their pancakes. If my husband and I choose to splurge every once in a while, we will buy the sugar-free syrup and enjoy it on our pancakes.

Luckily, I had some Granny Smith apples lying around, and I was able to create a cinnamon apple topping for these yummy things! My hubby and I would rather have a more naturally sweet topping than the syrup.

(Look for official recipe coming soon! Meanwhile, I will add them to my

recipe card below.)

apples

This is how my husband likes to eat his Cinnamon Apples over his pancakes…

He is very strategic on how he does it too. He lined up his 3 pancakes, and then doused them with the apples. It’s really cute actually. I love to watch him enjoy his yummy meals .

Addie

Baby girl showing her food to mommy…

So Easy!

The great thing about these pancakes is that you can make them in right your  Vitamix: Total Nutrition Center Blender or any blender (I’m a little partial to my Vitamix though) and, Viola! Just pour on to your griddle or pan! Easy peasy! I am all for easy on a Saturday morning.

blender pancakes

I put in the oats and ground them into oat flour first, and then added all of my other ingredients. I think that is why I love my Ascent Series Blenders for so many types of recipes. It allows you to do so much all at once!

Viola!

Protein Power

These guys are so loaded with protein, that they are sure to not only fill-up the hungriest of bellies, but

they pack a protein punch! My kids have energy for hours after they eat these!

They not only have protein powder in them, but they also have collagen! Win, win!

I really like to add protein in to recipes, in varying forms and degrees. I love to not only make yummy and healthy meals, but I like them to serve a purpose too. These are definitely the kind of breakfast you serve when you have a busy day ahead of you, or need an extra “boost” of energy!

These pancakes are yum!

Hope you enjoy!

-Z

Yields 15-20 medium pancakes

Z’s Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • Z's Cinnamon Protein Pancakes
  • 5 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup sprouted whole wheat flour (or whole wheat)
  • 4 tbs gentle sweet
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 16 oz. egg whites
  • 3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 scoops collagen
  • 1 scoop vanilla (or plain) protein powder
  • -------Z's Cinnamon Apples:------
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 fuji apple
  • 4 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbs gentle sweet (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • dash of salt

Instructions

  1. In a high powered blender, blend the oats until a fluffy flour is produced
  2. add in remaining ingredients
  3. blend until smooth
  4. Pour onto griddle
  5. flip after bubbles appear
  6. Serve warm with Z's Cinnamon Apples, Z's Verry Berry Sauce or syrup
  7. -----Added Recipe of Z's Cinnamon Apples ------
  8. Dice apples and place in medium sauce pan
  9. add in almond milk
  10. saute
  11. add in remaining ingredients
  12. continue to salute until softened and the milk has turned into a creamy consistency
  13. Serve hot over pancakes or eat plain
Cuisine: American | Recipe Type: Breakfast

Notes

Very filling and packed with protein!

7.6.7
19
https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/02/10/zs-cinnamon-protein-pancakes/

Easy Recipes

Z’s Easy Chicken Enchiladas

enchiladas

Drive-Thru-Sue

Are you looking for a yummy and crowd-pleasing dinner to make this weekend? You’ve found it!

These enchiladas are so easy that they seems “too good to be true”. If you know anything about Trim Healthy Mama, you know there is a type of mama called a “drive-thru-sue”. These types of “mama’s” are the type that don’t generally like to cook, or are too busy to cook “from scratch” meals.

Hey…Although I am generally not a “drive-thru-sue”, I sure do like to make a meal that is easy and healthy from time to time. Especially after long days with the kids, chores and other responsibilities . These enchiladas are all the way “drive-thru-sue”-easy to make and very little ingredients. low carb tortillas

Despite them being not completely “made from scratch”, they are a great alternative to traditional enchiladas, that tend to be time consuming and labor intensive.

Because I use the low carb tortillas, you can make them an S or an E. I consider them to be an THM-E because I usually eat two whole enchiladas, add back beans, tomatoes, lettuce and a dollop of low-fat sour cream. Eating one enchilada is an S meal, so I usually just omit the black beans and add extra cheese, and full fat sour cream. As you can see, it is a versatile dinner!

Family Style

enchiladas in the kitchen

The great thing about this versatile dinner is that it makes a lot! I usually make two pans full, and we have leftovers for the next days lunch. Believe me, they are even better the next day!

After I get them out of the oven, I usually just dish them all up at the same time. Viola! Easy peasy family-style dinner!

dinner

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Enjoy!

-Z

Yields 6-8 servings

Z’s Easy Chicken Enchiladas

An easy option for a weekend meal! Easy to make and full of flavor!

15 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 4 tbs taco seasoning
  • 10-15 low carb tortillas
  • 1 32 oz can of mild green or red enchilada sauce
  • 4-5 cups of shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tsp pepper (plus more for top)
  • Optional: lettuce, black beans, tomatoes and sour cream

Instructions

  1. In large pan, boil chicken breast in salty water
  2. Once chicken is cooked
  3. Leave in pan and pour out most of the water (leave about 3/4 cup of the water/broth)
  4. Take a hand mixer and "mix" the chicken breast right in the pan until shredded.
  5. Add taco seasoning and mix thoroughly
  6. Place about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the casserole pan(s)
  7. Add about 1/4 cup of shredded chicken and cheese in each tortillas and roll up tightly
  8. add to casserole pan in a row
  9. Add the remaining sauce to the tops and make sure to get all the cracks
  10. Add cheese on top in thick layer (less thick for an E)
  11. Sprinkle with pepper
  12. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes
  13. Serve hot and top with desired toppings
  14. Enjoy!
Cuisine: Mexican | Recipe Type: Dinner
7.6.7
18
https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/02/09/zs-easy-chicken-enchiladas/

 

Recipes · Sweets and Treats

Z’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sugar-Free, THM-S, KETO and Oh So Chewy and delicious!

Sure to Please

cookies bite

These bad boys are sure to please! They didn’t last long in my house! The great thing is… they have the same taste and texture as your grandmas classic chocolate chip cookies! They are chewy, soft baked goodness!

The best part if these amazing cookies??? No guilt whatsoever! Also, they have collagen in them, so they are not only amazing for your sweet tooth, but also amazing for your hair, skin, bones and over-all health!

Yes please!

I always test my recipes on my husband. He’s very happy to do so, but he is also very honest with me. I really appreciate honesty, so I always know if my recipes are good, because he always “says it like it is”.

When my husband first tried these, he was standing in our kitchen after a long day of work. I asked him to try my cookies and tell me what he thought. He smiled his handsome smile, grabbed a cookie in his manly “graceful way” and took a huge bite. I watched as his shoulders relaxed, his eyes closed and he let out a sigh. He didn’t didn’t have to say a word. I just knew that I nailed it! Classic!

“It’s Aliiiiive!!!”

I have really come a long way with my cooking and baking skills. I’m dead serious when I say that my husband has not always enjoyed my food. When we first got married, I could barely make pancakes without burning them to a crisp!

cookies 2

Remember how I said that my husband is very honest with me? He definitely used to tell me that I had “burnt dinner” or “destroyed that recipe”. The sad part was, he was right. Although I have learned a lot along the way in my almost-11-years of marriage, cooking and baking…I have still not arrived at all. The thing I do have going for me is that I love to learn and create new recipes, and that seems to keep me on my toes!

Some days in my kitchen, I feel like Frekenstien, creating a monster (if you saw the messes that I make, you might believe me). You can almost hear me screaming, “it’s alive!!!” on days when I have created a new recipe. I enjoy every minute of it! (except the messed and dishes….I hate doing dishes!)

Shakes & Cookies for Lunch

The other day, I was running late to a rehearsal for our Wednesday night worship services. The great part of doing what I do is that I get to meet up with my team at the park! You see, the girls that were practicing with me, they have kids too. So, we take our kids to the park, pack a lunch and a guitar, and practice our worship songs! Not a bad gig, right?

 

As I was saying, I was running late, so I threw a Mint & Chip Shake together in the blender (check out my recipe page for the amazing recipe), and threw two chocolate chip cookies in a bag. I knew that I could eat them with my shake because they were both the same kinds of fuels (THM-S). Score! Who else gets to eat chocolate chip cookies and a mint and chip shake for lunch??? The great thing about this shake…jam packed with nutrition!

Yes, I ate two “desserts” for lunch, and I loved it!

choco chip cookies

Now that your mouth is properly watering about now, here is the recipe! Eat and be merry!

Enjoy!

-Z

Yields 36 cookies

Z’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy and soft baked amazingness!

10 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
  • 1 cup Gentle Sweet (or preferred sweetener-but the best is G.S.)
  • 2 Tbs Super Sweet
  • 1 Tbs Molasses
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Eggs (I use the grass-fed kind-Also, the recipe works best with room temp eggs)
  • 1/4 Cup Oat Fiber (Not oat flour)
  • 3 Cups Almond Flour
  • 2 Scoops Collagen (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • 1 Tsp Xantham Gum
  • 1 Tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 8oz bag of Hershey's sugar-free chocolate chips (or Lilly's)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a stand mixer, add softened butter and mix until creamy.
  3. Add sweeteners and mix until fluffy
  4. Add eggs, vanilla and molasses and mix until creamy
  5. In seperate bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together.
  6. Add dry ingredients to the stand mixer a little at a time.
  7. Mix well
  8. After everything is mixed, add in the chocolate chips
  9. Mix
  10. Take the bowl off the stand mixer and place in fridge for about a half hour
  11. Take out of fridge and make dough into 1 inch balls and place on uncreased cookie sheet
  12. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown on edges
  13. Let cool completely
  14. Try not to eat the whole sheet of cookies!
  15. Enjoy!
Cuisine: American | Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.7
17
https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/02/08/zs-classic-chocolate-chip-cookies/

 

Soups and Chili

Z’s Beefy Chili

THM-S, Keto, Low Carb

“I’ll have some sour cream, with a side of chili…”

This chili is an adaption of my Texas Chili (check out my recipe page). I love my Texas Chili, but it is a THM-E meal. I wanted a chili that I could load up with cheese and sour cream! I like to say that “I’ll have some sour cream with a side of chili.” This is the ticket!

chili

Look at all that beautiful sour cream on there! And totally on plan!!!

I’m pretty sure that I could eat chili every night of the week and not be bored. In fact, I used to eat chili almost every night. Before marriage and before kids. I was a lot “plumper” then…but boy, was I happy :).

Chili Every Night!

You see, I used to live in a little 17 foot trailer. I was a property manager for a 444 acre property. I lived alone, had no one to cook for or take care of, and could eat whatever I wanted. I chose chili! You can bet that I ate chili almost every night! Sometimes I’d get really “fancy” and add in ham! Of course, the different kinds of chili that I ate were not healthy at all. They were the “canned variety”. I didn’t know how to cook very well back then, but I still loved to eat chili.

beefy

I think that is why, in my “older and wiser years” that I wanted so badly to make a healthy version of chili. When I created my Texas chili, I served it to a lot of people, and it quickly became one of my most requested recipes.

But again, if I wanted to splurge and have cheese, sour cream or my PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES >(https://wp.me/p9tfnp-9u) after, I couldn’t. Too many carbs in my original Texas Chili. Hence, the creation of this beefy and yummy S recipe!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I don’t eat chili every night anymore, and I dare say that I’m not as “plump” as I used to be, but I sure do like to enjoy a bowl or two of this healthy and delicious chili every now and again!

The Recipe

No more waiting…Here is a hearty and delicious chili that is simple and easy to make!

Enjoy!

-Z

Yields 8-10 people

Z’s Beefy Chili

A hearty and delicious low-carb chili. Sure to impress even the pickiest eaters!

5 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 4 tbs butter
  • 4 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream (plus more for topping)
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 7 oz can of mild diced green chilis
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbs xantham gum
  • 2 tbs cumin
  • 3-4 tbs chili powder (I like the New Mexico chili powder)
  • 1 tbs salt

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in stock pan or dutch oven on the stove
  2. Add minced garlic and onion (cook until tender)
  3. Add in meat and cook until no longer pink ( I like to salt and pepper my meat while it's cooking)
  4. Once meat is cooked, add in chicken broth and canned items.
  5. Add in seasonings and spices (except xantham gum)
  6. Cook on medium hight for about 20-30 minutes. The longer you simmer, the better the flavor.
  7. When you are about 5 minutes from serving, take out about 2-3 cups of the broth and add the xantham gum. Whisk together to thicken. Add back into the chili.
  8. Serve with lots of cheese, sour cream, cilantro, green onions, chips or whatever meets your fancy!
  9. -Enjoy!
Cuisine: American | Recipe Type: Dinner
7.6.7
16
https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/02/07/zs-beefy-chili/

Home · Let's talk about SEX! · Lets talk about Sex!

Sex-The Taboo Topic

I received so many accolades from people all over the country, who were appreciative that I wrote about christian married sex (check out my page on “Let’s talk about Sex”)! Thank you so much for your support! It truly means a lot.

Sex-Talk is Inappropriate?

This is a “modest” issue of Cosmo Girl….

Unfortunately, there were a few that had issues with my last post about sex. Some argued that their teenagers were reading it, and that it was inappropriate for me to discuss sex in a public forum. I would argue that it is the most appropriate thing a teenager can read (if thats what they really want to read about).

Why? Because I would rather a teenager stumble upon a post about christian married sex and be educated on what a godly marriage and sex-life looks like, then to peruse Teen Magazines (look at this one! It’s for teens!), Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook (not to mention the internet!!!) and read about all sorts of INNAPROPRIATE talk about un-married sex and teenage promiscuity.

Is your teenager on Pinterest? Think it’s an innocent and safe place for home decor and recipes??? THINK AGAIN! Yes, it can be a great resource, but just type in “sex”, and you will find out what “inappropriate” is. There is stuff on there and many other forums that is so dangerous! The fact of the matter is, teenagers are curious.

But, that’s a whole different subject.

People WANT to talk about Sex!

kissing What these facts on both sides made me realize was…people (and teenagers) WANT to talk about sex. People (and teenagers) want to know that it is ok to talk about sex.

People also want to know that other people struggle with all sorts of sex related issues.

Marriage is hard sometimes. But marriage can be amazing too. If we educate our young kids to what a godly, healthy and awesome marriage looks like (including a healthy sex-life), I think we would have so much less curiosity going on with our young people.

There are so many facets to a married sex-life, and unfortunately, not enough people talk about it. ESPECIALLY  in the church. As christians, we have the privilege to be able to tell the world that we can have the best sex ever! Why? Because we understand that sex, in it’s truest form, is a picture of intimacy with our God! It is not only a fun and exciting thing between a man and women, but it is truly beautiful.

These guys say it perfectly:

“Sex. For some, the topic is taboo. Others find it repulsive. Those willing to market and exploit it make millions. Did you know that most couples have as much trouble talking about their funeral as they do talking about sex? That could be why the Christian Church has largely gone silent on the issue. 

Some have bought into the myth that sex is only to be discussed between a husband and a wife, yet while sex is sacred and the marriage bed should be guarded, the topic of sex must be discussed if it’s going to truly be honored and protected. God is not afraid of the topic of sex. Did you know that God has given us more instructions about sex than He has about parenting? The Bible provides more instruction and guidance for how to make a baby than for how to take care of one! God has given us sex as a gift and it’s one to be thoroughly treasured, celebrated, and enjoyed.” -Ted Cunningham (Pastor at Woodland Hills church in Branson, Mo) and Dr. Gary Smalley (Bestselling author and Dr.)

Why the “Hush, hush”?

Why is it then that this topic has become so “hush, hush”? Is it because of our culture? Is it because it’s portrayed as “ugly” and not to be discussed in public? Is it because it’s “wrong” to “air your dirty laundry”?

There are so many “why’s”.

I’ll tell you what, I sure wish I was able to discuss sex in an open way as a young person! As a teenager, I was curious. Aren’t we all? I wanted to know about sex, but I didn’t know how to bring it up. I had heard that it was a “taboo topic”. That I wasn’t allowed to discuss it or ask questions about it, and God-forbid, bring it up in a church setting!

Luckily, my mom gave me a book about married sex later on in high school. I was able to read it, and try to understand it (in my finite pea-brain of a mind, at that age). Unfortunately, I still didn’t understand, and I wasn’t able to discuss it with anyone. Later on, when I went to public school (I was homeschooled for 10 years), I heard “talk” that I had no idea what it was about. I was so naive (looking back now…it was a good thing), that I could not understand half of the vulgar things that were being said. Trust me….vulgarity is totally a common thing in our high schools! To think otherwise is just being ignorant.

Maybe some of this is what some of our young people are experiencing?

I can’t even imagine the things that are put right in front of children these days! When I was a kid, we didn’t have technology like we do now. We were not able to literally have any kind of content at our fingertips at any given time!

Sex sells in popular teen movies, magazines and books. Not to mention the amount of pornography and disgusting stuff that is available at a touch of a screen!

I can assure you in the this current millennial culture…the topic of sex is NOT taboo! Our young people are more familiar with sex than you think! The only problem is their understanding of sex is often not the kind of sex God intended!

“With the advent of the Internet, parents are finding it increasingly difficult to shield their children from pornography. Now, in addition to the exposure kids might encounter from classmates who borrowed one of their father’s magazines, most school-age children and adolescents are spending large amounts of time online for homework or entertainment reasons. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has estimated that nine in ten teens have been exposed to pornography. Unfortunately, many of these teens are susceptible to developing addictions or compulsions to these images.”

– https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/sexuality/teens-and-porn/advice-for-parents-of-teenage-porn-addicts

9 in 10 TEENS!!!! That’s crazy! Crazy!

Why wouldn’t we want to make sex a topic that is a good thing? A thing that is modeled to younger people. A right way to have sex…within the constitution of marriage.

We can no longer be ignorant. Sex is a topic that needs NOT be taboo!

Let’s talk about sex!

With all these facts in mind, I think it is important we as christians find a way to talk about sex! We NEED to make it a subject that is both honoring and enlightening to the next generation! But, how do we do this?

This subject is a passionate subject for me (no pun intended). However, I wish I had more understanding about married sex, BEFORE I was married. Even after I was married, I wish I had people to discuss sex and intimacy (two different subjects) with.

I’ve thought a lot about what I would do differently in the church, and how I would help marriages to thrive. Here is a list of things I think need to be made more of a priority in our churches…

  1. Couples bible studies on marriage.  One of my favorites is Love and Respect.
  2. Women’s and men’s groups on specific topics about sex and intimacy.
  3. Discipleship from older couples in the church who have experience at being married.

These are just a few.

Am I saying that all y’all need to go tell the world how you and your husband “make-love” on any given day? NO! We don’t need to know details. But I would say that we do need relevant discussion. ESPECIALLY in the church!  There is nothing wrong with having a conversation (in the right setting) about sex, sex issues, marriage and intimacy.

Let’s be real…we all have sex (if we’re married). It’s a common occurrence. It’s normal!

Why wouldn’t we talk about SEX; in all of it’s forms and all of it’s glory?

I would love to hear from you and get feedback on what you think about this? Shoot me an email or go to my Contact Me page.

I hope this post will be one of the many posts on this specific topic! Stay tuned for more!

Thanks for reading!

God bless!

-Z

Healthy Mama · Healthy Mom

Sleep-The Most Important Exercise

Yes, I just said most “IMPORTANT” exercise. That’s because it is.

sleep

 

Unfortunately, people do not talk about the importance of sleep very much. But, you can bet your “bottom dollar” that it is a very important factor to having a healthy life.

I was just talking the other day with a women who was telling me about how awful her sleep was. She then began to tell me that she was working out all the time, trying to eat healthy and doing “everything she was supposed to be doing”, but still suffered from insomnia. I told her, “all that stuff is great, but if you don’t sleep and are always exhausted, what’s the point of all that other stuff?”

More people than you think suffer from sleep disorders, whether as a permanent disorder, or a seasonal thing.

Sleep Disorder Statistics:

50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder.

48.0% report snoring.

37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month.

4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month.

Drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States.

Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder,  with short-term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%

3–5% of the overall proportion of obesity in adults could be attributable to short sleep

(https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep/sleep-statistics/)

How does lack of sleep affect you?

My third born son, Josiah I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get enough sleep, I am a pretty cranky person. I aint gonna lie. Sleep not only affects my mood, but obviously my energy during the day. With 4 kids and a myriad of responsibilities…that just won’t work for me! Sleep is a treasure to me, and it should be to you too!

“Those who report poor quality sleep also report poor quality health.

Overall health was highly associated with sleep quality.  Sixty-seven percent of those with less than good sleep quality also report “poor” or “only fair” health, with 27 percent reporting otherwise “good” health. Low life satisfaction and high stress were also related to sleep quality. Groups that reported poorer sleep quality were those with an annual income of less than $20,000, those with education levels of high school or less, and Americans between 30 and 64 years old compared to younger American adults ages 18-29.

Women are more likely to report insomnia symptoms; men are more likely to say they snore, supporting previous data that have shown women are more commonly diagnosed with insomnia and men with sleep apnea.”

(https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/lack-sleep-affecting-americans-finds-the-national-sleep-foundation)

Why is sleep THE MOST IMPORTANT EXERCISE?

bicep
Me getting my “sweat” on

In my opinion, exercise and sleep go hand in hand. Yes, exercise is very important, but if you don’t have the proper amount of sleep, then it doesn’t work; you just don’t have the energy for it. You could work out and eat healthy, but if you don’t sleep enough….it’s defeating the purpose. The only thing you’ll end up doing for yourself, is wear yourself out!

I think as mama’s especially, we need to get our health priorities in check first. Before we start a new diet, or go on a new workout plan, we need to get our sleep down first.

Nevertheless, Sleep and exercise go hand in hand.

“People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.

A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.” (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/study-physical-activity-impacts-overall-quality-sleep)

If you don’t sleep well, you don’t exercise well. If you don’t exercise well, you don’t sleep well.

Yes, there needs to be a balance, but like I said before…you need to make sleep a very important priority! Especially when you have a husband and or kids to tend to. When I’m sleep deprived, I am cranky, short, easily agitated etc. That just doesn’t work If I am trying to be loving, kind, patient…

Now, before children, I was able to take naps. Does anyone here remember NAPS???? I do….vaguely. Nowadays, I would be lucky to get 5 minutes! I guess that’s just the mom-life.

But, back to the subject…

Sleep is so very important.

Some Practical Tips…

If you are like me, I get a “to do list” going round in circles in my mind, right about bed time.  My husband always says, “ok…lets go to sleep now”, turns over and is literally asleep! It drives me nuts, because usually, I have to “wind down”. I need to slowly turn my brain off. I usually read a book, watch a show (usually for about 15 minutes before I pass out), read emails etc. before actually falling asleep.

Even with my exercise and eating right, I still struggle with falling asleep sometimes. Maybe this is you too. With all that being said, here are some tips for falling asleep AND having a healthy nights sleep…

  1. Limit your “screen time” before bed. Studies show that “The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive.” (Helpguide.org) It is generally a bad idea to watch a show (like I do sometimes), read articles, scroll Facebook etc. It does nothing but stimulate your brain, not relax you.
  2. Exercise during the day. Exercise is a great way to achieve weight loss and to give you that “burst of energy” during the day, but most importantly, it allows you to sleep better at night!
  3. Control your exposure to light at night. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more alert.
  4. Watch what you eat. Watch the caffeine intake mamas! Caffeine, sugar and carbs can be a bad thing in excess. “Cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs. Eating lots of sugar and refined carbs such as white bread, white rice, and pasta during the day can trigger wakefulness at night and pull you out of the deep, restorative stages of sleep. Also, don’t eat a heavy meal at night.” -(help guide.org)
  5. Clear your mind before bed. Stress can be a huge factor in lack-of-sleep too. God tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” Phil 4:6. Praying as you are falling asleep is awesome. It is one of my favorite ways to fall asleep.

There you go! Now you know my “shpeal” on sleep, and how incredibly important it is for your health as a whole. I hope that this post was encouraging!

Be sure to “like” this post, and share it so that others can learn about how important sleep is! Thanks!

God Bless!

-Z

 

 

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New exciting posts coming soon!!!coming soon

Hey y’all! New posts coming soon! Be on the lookout for these exciting posts and recipes!!!

Thanks! -Z

MON. 2/5/18-SLEEP-THE MOST IMPORTANT EXERCISE

TUE. 2/6/18-SEX, THE TABOO TOPIC

WED. 2/7/18-Z’S BEEFY CHILI

THUR. 2/8/18-Z’S CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

FRI. 2/9/18-Z’S EASY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

Healthy Mom · Home

Saying “No” in a “Yes” World

Learning to say “No”, in a “Yes” world.

girls back

I don’t know about you, but I say yes a lot. I say yes to ministry, to helping people, to watching friends or families kids, bible studies etc. All these things are good, but they can be bad.

Follow me now…Ministry, helping, bibles studies and the like, are all good things. No, they are great things. But, when you say yes to too many things…that is when it becomes bad.

Now, I LOVE being busy. I love having multiple things going on at the same time. There is nothing wrong with that either, but I would argue that there are seasons for those times when you are busy, busy.

“…For every season…”

Women in the church

“What we know, and research supports, is that post industrial revolution there was a shift in the home and thus in the church.  As the men went to work outside of the home, women began to take on a larger role in the spiritual development of their children.  They also began to take on a more prominent role in the church as leaders and volunteers. What we know, currently is:

  • The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.  (Some churches the % of female members can reach up to 70%)
  • On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
  • This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands. (Even if their husbands profess to be Christian)
  • Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.

There are more women attending, and participating in the active life of the church.  This is why you may see that Women’s Bible Studies outnumber their male counterparts. Or, why Women’s Ministry is still a vital ministry in the church… but Men’s Ministries are waning.

Fewer than 10% of U.S. churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry.” https://womensministrycouncil.com

MORE WOMEN ARE SAYING YES!

As women, we are naturally inclined to fill the gaps when we see them. We naturally want to help, and so when we see a need, we are more prone to just say “I can do that!”, and help out where needed.

My personal opinion is that because men in our culture are being demasculinized (making men “weanies”), a majority of them are prone to just say, “what the heck…let the women do it…they seem to be in control anyways!”

(Feminism at it’s finest)

That’s another story for another day.

Now, let me just tell you…I love being busy. I love being involved in everything. I am good at taking charge, and I love to use my gifts in areas of leadership, music, decorating, coordinating….you name it! And, for a while, I was doing all these things. All at once!

Before I even had a 4th baby!

 Saying No

Last year, I had one of those seasons where I had to learn to say no. My youngest was one-year-old and I was overwhelmed. Having 4 Littles, homeschooling, leading worship on Sundays and Wednesdays, house chores, bible studies, supporting my husbands hectic schedule with work, etc.  I had to learn to set boundaries for myself and for my family. The problem was, I didn’t know how.

homeschoolAt first, I just kept on with everything. I didn’t get much of any “down time”, which I did fine with. But, I started noticing how drained I was becoming. I was starting to get “short” with my kids more often, and would get angry easier. I didn’t like that, so I began praying that God would show me what to do. You see, I never could stand being a “flake”. I have always admired consistency in people, and was striving to be “consistent”; to the detriment of those around me. Especially my kids.

I think that is when God started giving me a word. One very simple word. SIMPLIFY. That word kept “showing up” in my devotional times, in worship music, in talking with people. It was everywhere. And it was then that I started realizing that the word meant something deeper to me. I started realizing that God was trying to tell me something. “SIMPLIFY.”

To me, that was a clear “writing on the wall”. I knew I had to start “off-loading” some responsibilities. I knew I had to be intentional about not only saying “no” to things, but also letting go of some things. I cannot even tell you how liberating it is to do that! As a semi-control freak, I thought I would have a harder time of letting go of things, but I think that God gave me the peace I needed to do it.

So I did. I started saying no. I started planning for days that had nothing planned (which was foreign to me). Days where I could take my kids to the park, or on a hike, or just sit with them and read a story.

I aint gonna lie…for this need-to-stay-busy mama…it was tough. I think of that season of my life as a discipline season. One that I struggled finding a comfortable “groove” in. But, like any discipline, it got easier over time.

How do we say NO?

Waco
Yes, that is in Waco, Tx. at Magnolia!!!

You may be able to relate to me. Maybe you have too much going on right now, and you are thinking, “how do I get rid of all of this responisbility?”

The question is, how do we as women begin to say “no”, when there is so much that needs to be done?

Let me just tell you…It’s not your job to do everything, be involved in everything or to be apart of every ever-livin bible study!!! AND THAT’S OK! SHHHHH…

I’ll give you what I did…I began to just say “NO.”

Here’s where you can start:

  • Begin to prioritize your life.
  • Sit back and think about what you want to be important in your life, and focus on that.
  • Be intentional on that.

Do I have it all together? Nope. Do I practice this stuff perfectly? Nope.

family
My ministry

But, I know that since I have begun to say no, and to limit the things I say yes to…liberation has began to envelope me. I do feel a “lighter load”, and I also feel freedom. I love that I can take the day off school if I want to, and just spend the day doing fun stuff with the kids. I love that I can take the day to just deep clean my house (I’m a nerd and like to clean). I love that I can take a day and spend it being with my family.

Let me make something clear real quick…something that I am STILL learning. MY HUSBAND AND MY KIDS ARE MY MINISTRY. They are the most important ministry I could ever be involved in! They deserve my attention, my love, my service.

All that being said, I pray that this little post encourages you. If you are struggling with saying no to people, ministries or work…just know, you’re not alone. The struggle is real! But, with God’s help, you can do it! JUST SAY NO!

God Bless!

-Z