Sunday, December 23, 2012

'We lay our crowns'...

I woke up refreshed this morning...and as my feet hit the ground my desire to have a 'quiet time' (prayer & reading of the bible) was interrupted by thoughts of: my to-do list, people to call, emails to send, chores that need finishing, children that are waiting for attention...our morning thoughts can sometimes be endless & overwhelming...

Another thought enters my heart...go downstairs and turn on some worship music. Aha! A great idea...this always helps my focus.

I come down the stairs, my eyes still not fully awake, and go to my special spot. I play some of my favs on YouTube (Jesus Culture playlist was my choice this morn)...

I begin to pray. 

I still feel empty. Distracting thoughts continue to press in.

I read some passages. This morn I read 1 John 4: 7-12 & it begins to speak to my heart. Loving God & loving people. The love of God...it's really so simple.

Then a song I haven't heard in ages begins to play in my heart:

"We fall down,
We lay our crowns,
At the feet of Jesus..."


What a fitting chorus for this holiday season...


Does anything about this chorus speak to me this morning??

In this season with the hustle & bustle of the holidays...am I REALLY remembering whose birth I am celebrating? Do I need a gentle reminder that the babe in the manger grew up to be so much more...



What is a crown anyway?

***crown (kroun)

n.
1. An ornamental circlet or head covering, often made of precious metal set with jewels and worn as a symbol of sovereignty.

2. often Crown
a. The power, position, or empire of a monarch or of a state governed by constitutional monarchy.
b. The monarch as head of state.

3. A distinction or reward for achievement, especially a title signifying championship in a sport.

(courtesy of thefreedictionary.com)

I realize that this song may predominantly focus on the scriptures that tell us that one day we will lay down literal crowns at the feet of Jesus, after we enter into eternity...I'm not a theologian so I won't touch on that aspect here :)

However, what spoke to me this morning is this:

Are there any positions in my life, any significant achievements, any titles, anything that I feel makes me 'important'...are any of these vying for my attention more than Him?

During this Christmas season am I giving more significance to my actions & activities than to my heart condition towards the Saviour? Towards the One who makes all of my life possible?

Some of you may find the analogy extreme...

You can always read about in some of my first posts, but my entire life has been transformed by my faith in my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. I have noone else that can take the credit.

Although He did use many people to aid me, to help & inspire me to move along in my faith...first & foremost I am truly indebted to Christ. Without Him I don't know where I'd be...

I was a mess before Christ...I was an absolute mess. I am not exaggerating.

I still stumble. I still struggle to give full Lordship each & every day to Him. To trust Him with my entire being. To not look back on my past mistakes as a reference for my future...

And to not get distracted with my earthly 'crowns' of so-called achievement & significance...

Perhaps that's why today I remembered this song...

Let's remember the true reason for our celebrating this holiday.

While enjoying the visits, the meals, the gifts, even the church services and the excitement...let's not forget our King!
   
**Watch the entire song by Chris Tomlin on YouTube. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9jhLNDfAKQ

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Heart of the DeBruin Family...a Review of 2012!

Twas the week before Christmas...



And all throughout the DeBruin house...well, I must tell you that there are certainly some 'creatures' stirring! Not just the last week but throughout the entire year. I can hear their pitter-patter as we speak...there's not usually many dull moments around here, that's for sure :)

So much to share...


If I had been more organized I would have gladly mailed out my usual Christmas card regime...but this year I decided to make an online Christmas blog entry & make it our 'letter' for the season. A bit easier...So enjoy!!


   A FEW HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2012...



If you haven't seen any of our latest pics here's one from a fun Fall hike with all four of our chillin's.


Let me just assure you, yes they are in fact growing like weeds!


Let's start with the eldest..


Sam~ our growing & maturing 12 year old



This guy is our musical genius that enjoys piano and a bit of guitar. He can also play the bongos quite well & loves to drum his fingers to almost any beat. Biggest excitement this year was being able to join our church's youth group & go on their overnight camping trip! Ahhh...it seems like just yesterday I was cradling him in my arms :)



Joel~ our lively & adventurous 11 year old




Our lil budding entrepeneur is always coming up with exciting ways to spend his time. Whether building creations in his room, or helping to cook a meal he is always full of zest & life. I think the biggest excitement for Joel this year was moving out to the country where we can now allow all of the children to run wild on our 1 acre lot. More on that later..


Hannah~ our tender-hearted 7 year old





Our only daughter loves to play 'house' and take care of her babies. Any stuffie will do! She also enjoys art and coming up with imaginary stories during playtime. This year her biggest excitement was getting her own room after we moved. And now she can have either of her 2 girl cousins sleep over & there's plenty of room for all; so much fun :)



JJ~ our spunky 5 year old




JJ (short for Joseph Jedidiah) enjoys being the life of the party! In fact, those of you that know him would agree, he IS the party. One of his fav things to do is dance & play around with one of his other siblings. He also enjoys building things like LEGO, wood structures out of scraps, and much like his father he is always trying to 'fix' (or take apart!) his cars. His biggest change this year would have to be leaving the school he was in for our homeschooling adventure....more on that later!


Benson~ our lovable, & VERY social 2 year old 'pup'




Never a dull moment with this happy doggie around! He's always willing to greet a new person at the door with kisses (and often annoying intense 'hugs'). The kids enjoy his company throughout our days but I must say he is usually MY shadow...so much so I often trip over him while cooking dinner...smile.


Jeff~ my handsome & totally awesome hubby




I couldn't have asked for a better husband. Although we have the usual ups & downs of married life, I find myself in awe of someone who compliments me so well. This year my husband had an interesting year with his work place. The work has continued to be steady (we thank God for His provision!) but he lost one of his main mechanics. Although it was for a good reason, and we wish him all the best, it has made for a busier year with Jeff's schedule. Not to mention all the support he gave me by taking the kids while I studied for my final exam and FINALLY finished my studies...what a blessing this man has been!





Myself: I graduated this year from a program that took me just over THREE years to complete! Part-time hours of course as I had many other commitments between the kids and life.

   *Side note: I became interested in natural nutrition following a series of doctor's appointments in early 2007. I realized that the current health-care system-while something we need to be thankful for-is not able to cope with all medical ailments. I truly have come to believe that it is vital to have an integrative approach to health: incorporating natural cures or preventative medicine where possible, and yet embracing the new technologies and pharmaceuticals where necessary. Just my point of view.

After finishing my diploma I realized that I was ready for the next step...

So another change was the decision to start my own business. 'Re-VITAL-ize U'


After completing my diploma I realized that I wanted to DO something with it. After some exploring I decided that the best fit for me was to do individual nutritional counselling and group seminars.
I mean I love to teach! I love to meet with people! I love to learn new things about health!
So I combined the above and voila: my new biz. You can check it out for yourself at:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/RevitalizeUHealth
OR feel free to join my facebook forum with group discussions on health:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/168680996505100/


The business is really only in its beginning stages, but I have appreciated ALL of the support people have given me as I venture out on the 'limb' so to speak..


This year had many ups and downs...

Challenges and triumphs like any other year...

Certainly though this year for us could be summed up in one word: CHANGE!


Did I mention we also changed addresses??

At the beginning of 2012 we realized that if we wanted to continue hosting lots of social functions we would need a different layout to be comfortable. We also realized that a change of pace would be nice for both Jeff & I since we are (most of the time) running in the rat race...so we starting looking for a country-ish house that was no more than 20 minutes from the city. We found our 'lil blessing in the month of May and soon put our house up for sale. We sold our house within 2 days & finalized the offer within a week! Talk about many awesome answers to prayer.



Here's a pic of Jeff & I out front of the new pad. It's about twice the size as our previous home, & subsequently has already allowed us to have many people stay over for short-term visits, or even just a meal.

This is a pic of our side lot that acts as our soccer field.


Another change was the decision to try homeschooling...

    Homeschooling was always something that I was interested in doing, but without having researched the logistics of it, I never thought it was feasible for our family.
 However that all changed when during this past spring, while all four children were in school full-time, I began to search out as much info, & as many contacts as I could in hopes of 'mastering' the topic of homeschooling.

So we began the adventure of homeschooling!

So far this year we've met some amazing homeschooling friends. We've also had the priviledge of getting to do many extra-curricular outings that time just didn't allow during our past school routine.

Even so we are still deciding to take it year by year. For now we're committed til the summer :)



Well, that's it so far! Many other things I could write about. Many other tales I could share with you.

However, I want each of our friends & family to know that we love you all. We think of you often. We keep you in our prayers. We are so THANKFUL for each & every one of you.


& during this busy Christmas season I am reminded that the important things in life really are simple.

Hope. Giving. Love. That is what this time of year should cause us to reflect on.

"And unto us a Child is born..." and our lives have been forever changed!

Relationship with God now possible through Christ.

Relationship with each other now strengthened through His example.

Relationships. Love. Hope. Faith.

Feel free to drop us a line sometime~ rachael.faith@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Rachael, Jeff, Sam, Joel, Hannah & JJ xoxoxo







Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Great Chasm Between the Ideal & the Reality


Children are super resilient. Yet for all of their ability to ‘bounce back’ easily from wounds, they are still human.
parenting homeschooling ideal reality chasm


    My children would tell you themselves that there have been many times that I’ve severely wounded them. Times when I was less than ‘Christ-like’. Times when, unfortunately & apologetically on my part, I have to say I have been downright unkind.

    I hate to admit it. I will not dwell on it either. However, truth be told there is great freedom when we can share our past in the hopes that others will be inspired to learn from it.

 When I was pregnant with my eldest child I was extremely na├»ve. Is every new mother guilty of this??

    I thought that our fondest moments would consist of frolicking in the park, ice creams after church, and of course linking arms and skipping down the street. Not that we haven’t shared some of these moments! We indeed have.

    However, many times since his birth…I’ve found myself…at the end of a long & exhausting day…saying, “Why in the world did I act like that? Why did I have to use such harsh words? Why wasn’t I more patient?”

    As more children came along the naivety faded…the truth became clearer. I was not, in fact, going to be a perfect parent. Not at all. Nor was I going to have perfect children…

    I am sure many parents reading this, can attest to the fact: that there is a GREAT WIDE chasm that exists between the ideal…

“that AMAZING, not usually attainable expectation we have about our parenting experience”…

And the reality of our lives.

The reality sometimes stinks!!!

The reality is that…

…sometimes kids will talk back.

…sometimes your children will not get along. More than likely siblings will have times when they will act less than ‘lovely’ towards one another.

…sometimes your little darlings will make a scene in a public place.

…sometimes your gifts of joy will have a temper tantrum…and of all places it might be at church, during a hush-hush moment no doubt!

And in response…

You may find yourself acting less than ‘ideal’ towards your children.

You may, hopefully only on occasion, find yourself acting like some sort of monster and have to look in the mirror and ask yourself: am I really cut out for this? Who was that person??!

You may find yourself apologizing time after time to your children. Apologizing for wrong expectations. Wrong assumptions. Wrong words. Wrong tone.

Lack of patience. Lack of mercy. Lack of love.

Anyone else ever been there?

I know I have.

It is not something I am proud of.

However…

I do believe the great chasm can be breached…

By a word of prayer.

By an act of kindness.

By our loving example.

By our perseverance.

By laying down our unrealistic expectations.

By laying down any unhealthy anger.

By creating new expectations and coupling them with our faith in Christ.

By learning new strategies and employing them.

By obtaining a vision for our children’s lives that goes beyond the superficial, and instead focuses on their character.

By not giving up when things get tough!







Psalm 127:3 (CEV) "Children are a blessing
and a gift from the Lord."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cast Your Care!

An area I feel that I've been challenged in recently is worry...





Ok, for example...


...sometimes I find myself overwhelmed with any number of situations: maybe relating to my kids...with my spouse...the busy holidays...with various relationships... with the bills...you name it! Anything can easily become a situation leading to worry, if we allow it.

Sometimes I actually find myself fighting doubts...

unbelief...

wanting to quit...

angry on the inside...

frustrated and ready to boil over. Anyone else ever felt like that??




I'm guessing if you said no you're probably not telling the truth :) Let's be real here.



Before I became a woman of faith, who entered into a relationship with Christ, I addressed all my worries by doing a variety of things...

I would try to forget them. By drinking. Or drugs. Or by just trying to have a good time.

I would try to ignore them. By hiding from them. By pretending they didn't exist.

Or sometimes I would try to 'fix' something myself... By confronting in anger. By screaming at someone. By taking my frustration to someone else (in other words gossiping!).

Yet none of these ways really worked...nothing really got solved.




After I became a Christian and read in the bible that, "Hey, God does actually CARE about me. I just have to speak my mind to Him. I can actually talk to Him." I had a new revelation: I was no longer ALONE in the fight!

Well, than what is NOW the problem? Why, do I still struggle to give my cares and worries to Him? Why do I still try to hold onto them like they were my last 'dollar and I can't get no more'?!





Seriously...what...is...wrong...here?


I listened to a message today by Joyce Meyer about "Moving Beyond Worry & Anxiety" & I was reminded that we TRULY have to set our hearts and refuse to worry; it is a decision we need to make.



Alongside of that, we NEED to pray about the situation. Through what Jesus has done on the cross we now have access to God...so we can freely: CAST OUR CARES ON HIM! We have to choose to believe & understand we are not alone. Even when we feel like we are...





We do not have to stay stressed. Even when we are riding out a storm.

We can rise about our feelings of fear. Even when we are shaking in our boots, so to speak.


I came home from a busy morning today. I had much on my mind. Many situations that seemed to cry out for their attention. Little children that need help with tasks. A spouse to catch up with. Friends to connect with & firm up holiday plans with.

When I first walked into the door I felt like I was swimming in an ocean....my mind was in worry mode.

I immediately recognized the danger of staying in that mode too long, been there & done that (bought the t-shirt!!!) so I decided to get out the Word. My weapon in time of need.

***"Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. I Peter 5: 7 (NLT)

This scripture clearly says that we should, no NEED, to give ALL of our worries & cares to our Heavenly Father!

And why? Because this scripture says He CARES about us!!!

So in simplicity I did. I prayed. I came to Him...

Ahh...felt the relief...




How about you? Are you struggling in a 'worry mode' as well? Do you have a pressing need on your heart? Is the busyness of this Christmas season feeling like its too much??

If you are still having a hard time casting your care, I would encourage you to find someone you can talk to. Another who is further along in the journey than you are & can help you along. Woman to woman, or man to man...we can hold each other accountable! Accountability is another important factor that has helped me MANY a time when I've felt overwhelmed.

May I remind you, that YOU are not alone today. YOU are loved. YOU are cherished. YOU have the ability to move forward in your life. YOU do not have to give up!

No matter how life may get...no matter how chaotic this season can seem...no matter how circumstances may feel today...

Cast your care.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The man sitting on the side of the road...

With the busy Christmas season here....





....do you find yourself rushing about?





Here and there...busling about from activity to activity??


Recently, I read an article about a study that was interested in finding out what inspires people to help one another.

    They focused in on some students that were studying theology. They figured this would be a group of students that were already STRONGLY interested in helping people.

Then to add to the irony of the study, the students were given directions that they would be giving a talk on the 'Good Samaritan' (***if you don't know the story I've included it at the end of the blog). On the way to the talk they purposely placed a person (in very obvious distress) along the student's path. They made certain that the person on the way to their talk would 'accidently' bump into them.

The only variable was the amount of time they were told that they had left between them leaving their destination, and arriving at the talk location. Some of the students were told they would be on time if they left right away; others were told they were already running late for their talk; and lastly, some were told that they had time to spare. Maybe some of you have already guessed the outcome.....

Well, which group of students do YOU think were most likely to stop for the person in distress??









I am not sure if some of you may be surprised...but ONLY 10% of the students that were told 'they were running late' for their talk on the Good Samaritan, actually stopped to help the person they passed...remember this person was in obvious distress!

& I can't remember the exact percentage, but there was a LARGE group of people that did stop to help WHEN they were told they had extra time to spare.

The conclusion of the researchers was that people are more willing to help, NOT based on any person's need, but on the amount of time they feel they have to 'spare'.

Very interesting....


So...what...are...we...really...busy...doing...during...the...Christmas...season?







Are we focusing on the right things?


I don't have all the answers but one thing I DO know....my hearts cry this year is to examine myself.

Am I busy just for the sake of being busy?

Am I being sensitive to the people around me that might be in need?

Am I open to sharing HOPE with a person that God may send my way?

...or am I consumed with the commercialism that surrounds me?


...most importantly, am I willing to SLOW DOWN and remember what Christmas is truly about??





***The Good Samaritan Text-->

(found in Luke 10:25-37)

(NIV version) 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’


36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”


37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”




Some Honourable Mentions...

This is PART 2 of my post on PARENTING RESOURCES....



Okay...so 3 more honourable mentions I didn't include in my TOP TEN but could have been. They are great treasures for the parent seeking to 'up their game'!


1)  The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian


Great devotion that can be followed one a day for a month OR at your leisure. I have prayed the chapters in this book over...and over...and over again. She gives personal examples as well. One of my favs!


2) & 3) These two belong together...both awesome books! Bringing Up Boys & Bringing Up Girls; both by Dr. James Dobson




No matter what people may try to tell you...boys & girls are NOT the same!

I remember graduating from university believing I would proudly raise my firstborn son as a 'unisex' child....meaning I would offer him BOTH gender opportunities for everything (i.e. boy and girl toys, paraphenalia, activities. etc). He took my doll collection and 'beat it up'. He threw the little babies around the room. He jumped off of the furniture. He peed on my carpets. I had many moments wondering what kind of 'child' I gave birth too. I guess you could just sum it up: a boy. Yah right they're the same.

Then a few years later came my daughter....she cuddled everything in sight, actually sat still without reminders at story time, and still likes to be the secondary Mom of our home...definitely NOT a boy!

I do realize boys & girls may differ a lot between themselves as well, but I cannot agree that we both genders are fundamently the same from birth. Nope, at least not in this household...

Anyway, I digress :)


All of these are also excellent reads to be additions to your library at home.


Happy reading!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Humble Pie

One of the things I’ve found as a parent…




…is that you may find yourself having to say you’re sorry. Often. A lot.



At least you should be saying it when you need to.



I admit that I find this difficult at times. It goes against everything in me to openly share my failures, my weakness…and really what it boils down to is my sin.



…where I’ve missed the mark.





However, that being said, one of the greatest things we can model for our children is a humble spirit. One that is willing to admit wrongs. One that is courageous enough to say I didn’t do what I should have this time. I made a mistake & I apologize. I take full responsibility for my actions.





I believe that goes MUCH farther than many a ‘teaching’ session ever will take them.



So…next time you fail in front of them, or in a situation that involves them…



Let’s take the ‘low road’ and offer our apologies.



I’m sure they’ll thank us; even if it’s one day far off!

~TOP TEN BREAKFAST TIPS~

Well you've probably heard the ole' saying that breakfast should be the MOST important meal of the day....

One of my fav authors, Dr. Don Colbert, has often been quoted as saying that we should eat breakfast as a king :) After all, it is the fuel for the majority of our activities during the day.




So, what types of food do YOU typically enjoy for breakfast??



A bowl of cereal?
Perhaps some eggs & side of bacon, maybe some sausage?
A plate of fruit & waffles?


One of the biggest changes I've made since studying nutrition is what we typically eat for breakfast. That doesn't mean we never enjoy a nice breakfast buffet (usually when we travel), or a bowl of cereal (focusing though on adequate fibre & protein levels...more on that in a minute), but more often that not I have a few fav dishes I love to share with my family :)


So here are my TOP TEN BREAKFAST TIPS! Hopefully some will apply to your home & you can instantly improve the nutritional status of your diet. A few small changes can actually go a long way...
Enjoy!!




1)  Whatever you eat, make sure to include PROTEIN at breakfast!

Protein is a good way to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout your morning. Examples are: eggs, high protein cereals, organic peanut butter on bread of choice, protein powder in smoothies, raw nuts or seeds

2)  The usual bowl of cereal...with a BIT of revamping!

If you're going to enjoy that bowl of cereal then look for one that has: minimal additives, no hydrogenated oils/fats, low sugar, higher protein & higher fibre. There are certainly many new cereals coming into the market that have fewer harmful ingredients. Also there are now many gluten-free choices for those trying to avoid wheat. Lastly, if you read the labels, you will find more brands that contain higher levels of fibre and protein. Again, we want to keep those mid-morning cravings at bay.
Add some fruit for antioxidant power! Berries are a great choice because of their low glycemic level.
3)  Let's not forget this one...OATMEAL!

One of my favourite choices for breakfast is the humble bowl of porridge. A hot bowl of oatmeal has high levels of fiber & particularly the kind that's good for your heart. It is also considered a complex carbohydrate, which again will keep you feeling full longer. I top mine with fruit, or hemp hearts (if you want added protein), sometimes some raisins to sweeten. Lastly, I love to include some cinnamon on mine due to its positive effects on blood sugar levels. Yummmmy :)


4)  Eggs!

Ano fav choice for my breakfast is the tasty omelette, or even just a few eggs lightly cooked in butter (or coconut oil). Eggs are a great source of protein and contain all the necessary amino acids! The fat in butter & coconut oil, although keeping it limited, contains many important fatty acids that are vital for the body. Certainly butter is better than the man-made margarine which I try to avoid! Eggs can be lightly topped with a bit of cheese, or salsa if you wish keep a lower fat content. Fresh veggies on the side are another option if you wish to incorporate more antioxidants & vitamins.

5)  How about we break out of the traditional breakfast 'box' altogether?
.......sometimes I start my day with something as simple as a yummy SALAD!

I usually choose a box of green mix (higher nutrient content than the usual romaine or iceberg lettuce) and top it with some natural dressing: like extra virgin olive oil with apple cider vinegar for example. Also, I incorporate some protein in keeping with principle one. Maybe some hemp hearts sprinkled on top. Or a hard-boiled egg sliced on top. Raw almonds. Cheese. You get the picture! Lots of possibilities as you let your imagination run wild & absolutely deelish, once your taste buds get used to it :)

6)  The fruit parfait!
Ano place you can get creative. The only thing I don't recommend is buying yogurt with all those fillers: added sugars and fruit. Nope, I think it is a better choice to buy the plain stuff and that way you can control what you add. The greek yogurt is gaining in popularity due to its higher protein content. Great for those trying to lose weight. I also like to purchase Balkan types, organic types (usually when on sale!) and basically anything that has like 2-3 ingredients: milk solids, bacteria, or milk proteins. I try to stay away from anything with skim milk powders myself.
Then you can have fun with your additions! Fruit. Chia seeds. Hemp hearts. Seeds. Nuts. Ground flax seeds.
I'm getting hungry already :)

7)  A piece of BREAD, just NOT your typical kind!

Now, I'm not a big fan of using lots of bread products cuz most of them are highly processed & very difficult to digest. However, I'm realistic in that it's very hard to NEVER use bread products for breakfast.

So it you're going to enjoy a piece of bread here are my top recommendations:
-try to look for breads made the 'old-fashioned' way such as sour doughs & yeast-free ones. They  usually have a harder, thicker substance to them. They're not white and fluffy I'll tell you that!
-another fav type of mine: sprouted types. These have the grains pre-treated for you, and in case you didn't know, that's great news! Makes for easier digestibility and absorption of their vital nutrients.
-if gluten is a problem then try other types of grains. There are many varieties available at your local health food store, and even some mainstream grocery chains. Just again, no white fluffy stuff here either!

Top with organic almond butter for a royal treat! (and to include your protein)



8)  Trail Mix with a side of fruit!

This one is great if you're on the go & can't really afford to spend time in the kitchen. I don't recommend pre-made trail mix as I've found most of them contain sugars and hydrogenated oils. Simply purchase a mix of raw seeds, and nuts (these can be roasted if you prefer), and add some organic raisins or other dried fruits. I like to have a piece of fresh fruit for antioxidants :)


9)  Homemade power muffins!

Another option for those on-the-go, and can be just as nutritious as some of our other options. The key is in the QUALITY of the ingredients you use.

Basically you have 2 options: to modify an old favourite recipe of yours OR to find one that uses nutrient-dense ingredients. I have personally used recipes from: "The Maker's Diet" by Jordan Rubin & "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. Also, if you google The Weston Price Foundation you will find loads of research on healthy eating plus recipe pages.
*If you modify your fav recipe try these tips--> change the flour to spelt, kamut, or a gluten-free flour option; incorporate protein either by adding a powder that you can bake with or chopped up nuts, or increasing the egg content; lower sugar content; add fibre by simply sprinkling in some ground up flax seed!


10) I saved the best for last! The SMOOTHIE!!!

This one is my fav & the most versatile. You can literally add ANYthing & EVERYthing in your smoothie.

Here are some suggestions-->
-make sure to include protein of some sort (my favs are to use a powder OR some hemp hearts)
-include some healthy fats such as omega 3's (my favs are fish, cod liver, or flax seed oil)
-include some antioxidants (my favs are berries, mangos, banana, greens powder or even fresh greens salad mix) ***if you have a juicer use it to juice your fav veggies & then ADD it to your smoothie
-then use your imagination!!!






There you have it! Ten tips or meal ideas to help you weave your way through the BEST meal of the day. Happy eating :)

***If you have any FAV smoothie recipes you'd like to share, please post them in the comments section. I'd love for us to be able to share with one another.


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