The Morning Battle

You may have realized this, but incase you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of things in this life that fight for our time and our attention. How you choose to spend your time and with who can have a great impact on your character, mood, and perspective on life as a whole.

What will you do with your hours?
What will you do with your hours?

I experienced this exact thing this morning. Here’s what happened:

8:28AM – I woke up, sent a text to check up on Austin, then immediately opened up my Instagram.

8:49AM – Finished up gazing at my iPhone screen and pouring over all my friends’ incredible pictures.

First off, the fact that I spent that much time scrolling through pictures first thing in the morning immediately makes me question my priorities, but besides that, I clicked off my phone and felt jealousybitterness, and low self-esteemWhy? I asked myself.

I saw some wonderful things:
Friends over in another country spreading the Gospel.
A couple who just got married.
A beautiful friend of mine with her bright smile.
Yet another friend literally hanging off the side of a mountain.
My sister laughing while spending an evening at Disney.

So what was wrong? Why wasn’t I celebrating these amazing life-experiences with the people who shared them. People who I care about. People who I should be JOYFUL for. I began to look back on my past week: I realized I did this every single morning.

Instead of waking up and spending time with my Savior, singing praises, reading Scripture, and whispering prayers, I was growing envious of my friends’ life-journeys with every swipe of my thumb.

My mornings have not been starting off properly. I have become ungrateful and jealous that I am not doing those things or having those experiences. I have lost sight of what God has been doing in my own life and that He should be the One I long for. So, I decided to make a change:

9:02AM – I turned on some worship music and spent time listening as I made breakfast, then joined in singing the beautiful truths about our Lord. Oh, Your Cross it changes everything. There my world begins and ends with You. I began to feel renewed and refreshed as I turned my focus back on the One who is everything.The Word of God

9:23AM – I sat down with the Word and read from 2 Corinthians 4 while my Egg Cups continued to bake in the oven. My eyes fell upon a verse I had underlined sometime ago, but after a good re-read, I thought it deserved an extra highlight as it related to where I was at this morning.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” — 2 Corinthians 4:18

2 Cor 4:189:37AM – I enjoyed my Egg Cups and continued to re-read over 2 Corinthians 4. God changed my heart’s perspective and showed me that my ultimate treasure is Him and the Gospel. I am refocused and at peace. I am ready to take on the day, or rather the gift that God has blessed me with. Egg CupsEgg Cups


So where does this leave me? Do I need to delete my Instagram account and ignore all the things others are doing? No, but I do need to remain fixed on Christ and long for Him more than the things of this life. I need to change my priorities and for me, this starts at the very moment I wake up. This is a daily battle. It won’t end today. In fact, I may experience this again later on this evening. I need to surrender those feelings and anxieties to God. I want to celebrate with my family and friends and the amazing blessings they receive. I want to be joyful and grateful for my life I have been given and give all the glory to my Creator.

This may not have been a post about food or exercise.
But I hope it gives you some food for thought and a way to exercise your spirit.

Ultimately, the Paleo-diet may physically change your life, but I care more that the Almighty God of the Universe changes your heart, mind, and soul.

For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.
🙂

 

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Happy National Coffee Day!

If there is free coffee I WILL FIND IT.
And now I will share it with you all!

Happy National Coffee Day!
Here’s where you can get the goods:EXCITED!!

Caribou Coffee
Customers can get FREE SAMPLES of their newly released Amy’s Blend coffee on Monday, September 29. Plus, ten percent of Amy’s Blend purchases through October 31 will be donated to the CancerCares organization.

Dunkin’ Donuts
Guests can walk into any participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant across the country and receive a FREE medium cup of Dunkin’ Donuts hot Dark Roast Coffee, with a limit of one per guest. Also, starting September 30 through October 5, customers can purchase a medium cup of Dunkin’ Donuts hot Dark Roast Coffee for the special price of 99-cents.You're Cute

Eight O’ Clock Coffee
Visit Eight O’Clock Coffee’s Facebook page to participate in a Coffee With Friends Scratch & Win game. Enter every hour for a chance to instantly win a coffee & Friends themed prize pack and be entered to win the grand prize – a trip to the Warner Bros. studios in L.A.!

Kangaroo Express
At any Kangaroo Express location, get a hot, fresh cup of Bean Street Coffee for just ONE-CENT between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. One per guest, while supplies last.Productivity

Krispy Kreme
You can get a FREE 12oz cup of Krispy Kreme® House, Decaf or Dark Roast coffee, or treat yourself to a 12oz Mocha, Latte or iced coffee for $1 at participating Krispy Kreme locations.

McDonalds
Guests can get a FREE small McCafé coffee during breakfast hours at participating McDonald’s restaurants.

Addicted?Peet’s Coffee & Tea
Buy 1 bag of Peet’s Coffee and you’ll get your second bag FREE.

Wawa
Sign up here for an emailed Wawa coupon for a FREE 16oz hot coffee.Multiple Cups


And I hope you do get multiple cups of FREE COFFEE today! I mean, after all, this is a celebration, right?! Don’t forget to cash in on these awesome freebies! Enjoy your day and stay caffeinated!

#NationalCoffeeDay

East End Market

Call me Captain Jack because I just found treasure.
That line was disgustingly cheesy, I know, but you need to understand how incredible this place is.East End Market

Rejoice! Calling all foodies, yoga moms, and business men on lunch! Plus, everyone in between. East End Market, located in Audubon Park District in Orlando, Florida, is absolutely a hidden gem.

The Market showcases some of Central Florida’s top food entrepreneurs, tradespeople, artists, and chefs. The two-story structure is home to a dozen merchants, a large event space, a demonstration kitchen, an incubator kitchen, offices, retail shops, a full-time, award-winning caterer and a world-class restaurant.

East End Market is not only a hub for local food and culture, but also a community space fostering creativity and collaboration.

Inside the MarketThe entire property was stunning. There seems to be something for everyone: coffee, sushi, smoothies + juices, a bookstore, craft beers, local farm produce, bakery items, floral + plant gifts, and MORE. Seriously, something for everyone!

Of course, I had a few of my own favorites that I would LOVE to share with you all.

Skyebird

SkyebirdSkyebird 2This place was my favorite (with a close runner up). Skyebird captured my attention immediately– the colorful display of produce and teas, the mouth-watering menu, and the fresh atmosphere. I simply had to give it a try. After checking out the menu, and getting a few recommendations, I went with the Skye’s Favorite Smoothie. Skyebird's FavoriteNot only do you get the opportunity to pull up a chair and watch the magic happen, but the beautiful part about the “magic” is that they actually are slicing and dicing the fruits and veggies in front of you! How many smoothie/juice places have you seen that just pull out a container of pre-sliced produce that makes you wonder how long it was sitting there? Now that is fresh. I would also love to add that the adorable glass jar it comes on is your to-go cup! If you bring it back for a refill, you get $0.50-off your drink!All Things DeliciousThe staff was amazingly friendly and happy to help with decision-making, which I often need help with. My smoothie tasted wonderful and from some of the “regulars” I talked to agreed that the menu items were always fresh and delicious. I highly recommend swinging by Skyebird when visiting the East End Market.

Lineage

LineageIf there is good coffee, it will be found. I am a coffee fanatic and as soon as I walked into the market, Lineage was the first place I stopped. Lineage serves all kinds of coffee in various styles: French press, cold brew, pour over, and Chemex. Fresh BrewTheir incredible roasted coffees take on an art form when being brewed. The aroma lures you in as your walk by and begs of you to stay. When you stick around you’ll meet wonderful staff and down amazing brew. Relax and enjoy the experience. ahhhhh. 🙂

 Porch Therapy

Outside PorchSucculentsWhen first arriving to the market, I was greeted by the loveliest of plants and flowers sprinkled throughout the patio area. I noted the signage that indicated Porch Therapy was responsible for the beautiful display and that customers were welcome to pick any plant of their choosing and bring it inside for checkout. The abundant array of plants and flowers were such a colorful greeting into the market and Porch Therapy’s interior was no different. I had a wonderful conversation with the owner, chatting about her business, along with the ins and outs of the market. This place makes my “Top 3 of East End” with ease.Indoor Porch Therapy


East End Market was an experience. I love when places capture all your senses and allow you to enjoy the present moment! This is a place where community gathers, feasts, and learns. Speaking of learning, East End also has fun events and cooking classes for the public, if you’re interested! I highly recommend you check out East End if you’re local. If not, whenever you happen by Orlando and are sick of the theme parks, a stroll over to East End Market will not disappoint!East End Outdoor 2

I hope you find a local gem of your own! And if you have a favorite in Orlando (or anywhere really) leave a comment!

Cheers! 🙂

What I Ate Wednesday #1

I’ve read a few “What I Ate Wednesday” posts (or WIAW for you trendy folk) on other health food sites and I couldn’t decide if they were silly or helpful. Once I realized how many meals plans I acquired, recipe ideas I’ve conjured up, and motivation I’ve received, I decided these simple little posts are actually quite positive!

Breakfast was two scrambled eggs with two strips of Maverick Ranch bacon and a portion of my newest recipe: Roasted “Sweet” Apples. Of course, it wouldn’t be breakfast without a Coconut Milk Latte to wash it all down.

Sept 17 BreakfastThe morning could not get started without some play time with the kitten. Storm loves playing hide and seek. Or maybe she is just scared of me… which is totally possible.

Little StormToday I caught up on a bunch of random chores: dishes, laundry, sweeping, you know… the good stuff. I got to spend some time in the Word and have been praying over this lovely piece of Scripture:

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
— 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

I hope that gives you a bit of encouragement about the incredible importance of love. I’m so thankful for God’s great love. I pray that I may demonstrate and share it with others as best I can. 🙂

Meanwhile, over in the kitchen, my sister was juicing…
Can you juice this?Or attempting to juice, rather. She told me today that she is going to start her Whole30 journey. Now that I’ve shared this with the public, she has to do it. HA. Committed. Really, I am cheering for you Jacqueline and I hope you stick with it! Proud of this decision!

For lunch, I sat down to take my online course and paired it with this lovely meal. Just a bunch of things I could throw together. Simple! A big helping of Mediterranean Salad (and I went back for more) with some Whole30-approved Turkey Breast slices. I was looking for something sweet and crunchy (I love a good “crunch factor”) and got out some roasted almonds mixed together with bareSnacks’ Organic Crunchy Cinnamon Apple Chips. Dang, those are addictive.

Sept 17 LunchAfter more online coursework, I then headed over to Austin’s place for a tabata-style upper body workout. Which, not to worry, I will be posting later. T’was a pretty good one. I imagine I’ll be sore tomorrow, so I’ll wait and see. This now brings us to dinner…

Sept 17 DinnerRosemary-roasted white mushrooms and sautéed green bell pepper + onions were scarfed down along with two Applegate Farms Uncured Turkey Dogs. I know, I know, turkey dogs are not super fancy. I’m out of sausages, okay?! Nonetheless, I am grateful for another delicious Paleo/Whole30 Meal.

Also, today is Day 14. YES.

Whole30 Day 14
He UNDERSTANDS me.

Now I am off to band rehearsal for our church’s worship team. And to stay committed to this whole WIAW post, I will have you know I will have a snack later. I’m not sure what, but it will happen– Looks like this is ending as a mystery. Have a great evening! I will be singing the night away… Happy Wednesday! 🙂

Iced Coffee Smoothie

For the indecisive, like myself, the Coffee Smoothie is both coffee and smoothie. Mind-blowing, I know. I wanted something cold and creamy, but also spiked with java. Eureka! Frothy coffee goodness.Coffee SmoothieCoffee Smoothie (serves 1)

Ingredients:
4oz chilled coffee
1 frozen banana (sliced)
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp creamy almond butter
2 tsp honey
4 ice cubes

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in blender.
2. Blend together and drink it up.Coffee Smoothie Take 2


Are there any delicious coffee creations you’ve sampled recently?