Share Your Wisdom

I have observed that life is simply a cycle of learning, doing, and then teaching.  We are all teachers.  We are here to teach each other.  Keep in mind that every person you meet has something to teach you.  Little children are experts in spontaneity and living in the present moment.  They are often placed into our lives to remind us to slow down and to learn to appreciate the moment we are in.  Seeing the world through the eyes of a child can also remind you of the perfection of nature and the gifts we often take for granted as we rush through our busy lives.

I believe we all share the responsibility to pass on our knowledge, wisdom, and stories to our descendants and to anyone else who is willing and open to receiving them.  Think about your ancestors who have passed on.  What is the most valuable thing they could have left for you?  I personally believe nothing is more precious than the pictures and documented stories from their lives, including the lessons they learned and the wisdom they gained.

We are all connected on this planet, and we were put here to help each other.  Just as parents have the duty of teaching their own children how to stay safe and how to care for themselves as they grow, I believe it is our duty to help each other by lovingly sharing any wisdom gained and knowledge in our areas of expertise.

We all have a story to tell.  It may be scary at times to put yourself out there and share your story, but you never know who you may help by doing so.  One of the main reasons you are here is so you can share your story and help others going through similar situations.  Your story is more valuable than you know.  Please share it.

 Question of the Day

Which pieces of wisdom have you gained so far in life that you would like to pass on to others?

The above excerpt is from Day 25 of the book, The 31-Day Self-Love Challenge.  I am currently taking the challenge and this question came up today.  If I were asked to share what I have learned so far in my lifetime, here are the bits of advice I would offer:

  1. Open your mind!  Don’t stay stuck in the beliefs you have been fed throughout your lifetime.  There are many other perspectives out there that are also right.
  2. EVERYTHING is a gift!  EVERY person, EVERY thing, and EVERY situation you encounter IS a gift.
  3. Everything happens for a reason, and always for the greater good.
  4. GRATITUDE is the secret to happiness!
  5. Use your gifts to help others!  SERVICE is the secret to joy!
  6. SURRENDER is the secret to peace!  There is no need for worry.  Let go of your worries, and let God take them over.
  7. LOVE is ALWAYS the answer!
  8. Regardless of the mistakes you have made, you are UNCONDITIONALLY loved…we ALL are!  We are spiritual beings in a physical body.  Since spirit cannot be destroyed, you are NOT broken, and you can never be broken!
  9. Nature is the only thing that is perfect.  When we interfere with the perfection of nature, we create problems.
  10. All of the answers are within you.  Find some time each day to be in silence and connect with God, and you will find them!
  11. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.  We are all connected.  What you do, say, or think about others, you are also doing to yourself.  Be kind always and extend love, not judgement!
  12. BE YOURSELF!  God doesn’t make mistakes.  You were created exactly as you are for a reason.  You are needed on this earth exactly as you are!  Your purpose in life is to spread love to others by being yourself and using your natural gifts and talents!  Share your stories and your lessons learned to help others.

What have you learned so far in life that you would like to pass on to others?  Feel free to comment and share your wisdom with the rest of us!

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Finding Peace

If you are reading this today and struggling in some way, I want you to know:

You are NOT an accident! You are here for a very important reason, and the world needs that unique combination of gifts that only you can provide! Your purpose here on this earth is to BE YOURSELF and use those talents to spread love to others. If you choose to do that, the world will be a better place because you were here.

Peace begins with SELF-LOVE! If you want to be at peace, you need to begin by learning how to love yourself unconditionally. Know that you were perfectly created! Stop giving yourself negative labels or believing the negative labels others have placed on you throughout the years. Get to know yourself and learn to be comfortable with who you are, and the world will be a much better place because of it!

GRATITUDE is the secret to happiness! You have SO much to be grateful for! Try to focus on all of the blessings in your life rather than the things you don’t have right now. If you need help recognizing those blessings, please ask someone to help you.  Keeping a gratitude journal might be a good way to help you begin to recognize the blessings in your life.

YOU are the creator of your own reality. If you don’t like the way your life is going, you have the ability to change that beginning right now. Every action you take, every word you speak, and every thought you think is a choice.  Each one can be done out of love or out of fear…if you want your life to improve, choose love every time!

Every situation you have ever experienced in your life has happened FOR you. Try to view EVERY situation as a gift. Know that there IS something good in EVERY situation, so always look for the good! The seemingly unfortunate situations you have been through have made you stronger and shaped you into the person you are today. Some of the toughest situations in our lives turn out to be our greatest blessings. Once you overcome them, you can use those experiences to help others!

You must allow yourself to fully feel your emotions.  There is a time for everything.  When it is time to be sad, allow yourself to be sad, and let the tears flow.  Do not suppress it or try to numb it, or it will remain within you and continue to eat away at you, and eventually it may manifest itself as a physical or mental illness.

YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!!!  You may feel broken, but the REAL YOU can NEVER be broken! You are a spiritual being in a physical body.  In the spiritual sense, you are complete.  You have everything you need inside of you right at this moment, and you do not need anyone or anything else to complete you.  Underneath all of those layers of hurt and pain that have built up within you throughout the years in your physical life, you will find the only part of you that is REAL, and that part of you never changes. It is the place where God resides within you, it is pure LOVE and infinite wisdom, it is the voice that guides you to help others and spread love in the world, and it is the part of you that will go on living forever because what is real can NEVER be destroyed or broken. When you are able to completely FORGIVE (yourself and others) for all of the things that have happened “to” you in your life, you will be able to get through all of those other layers and access that REAL part of you, and then you WILL find peace…and love…and infinite wisdom!

You WILL get through this. Just remember, darkness always comes before the dawn. This will not last forever. Hang in there!

If you want help, please reach out to someone you trust and ASK for it! There are plenty of resources out there and people willing to help.

Know that you are never alone, and you are loved unconditionally for who you are! ♥

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Recipe: Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

creamy-sweet-potato-and-carrot-soup

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 52 ounces

Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, about (3/4 cup), chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about ¾ pound)
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • 14.5 oz can chicken broth
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons half and half
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley
Instructions
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Add remaining butter to the pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook for 1 minute or until butter begins to brown.
  4. Add sweet potatoes, water, chicken broth, and carrots. Bring to a boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  6. Place soup mix in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid; secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.
  7. Stir in half-and-half, salt, and pepper.
  8. Pour into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley.

 

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Recipe: Slow-Cooker Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Slow-Cooker Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

I’ve tried many meatball recipes over the years, but this one is by far our family favorite.

Recipe: Cheese-Stuffed Slow Cooker Meatballs

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 16 meatballs

Ingredients
  • Cheddar cheese, cut into 16 cubes, approximately ½-inch in size. (My kids like the yellow cheddar, but you can use white cheddar or another type of cheese if you prefer)
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (I usually toast two pieces of bread and then grind them in my Nutribullet)
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 28-oz jar spaghetti sauce (Make sure it is only made with real-food ingredients and no added sugar. I like Victoria brand, but use your favorite)
Instructions
  1. Mix together salt, parsley, egg, garlic powder, black pepper, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and milk.
  2. Add ground beef and mix well.
  3. Roll into 16 meatballs.
  4. Place one piece of cheese inside each meatball and roll until cheese is completely covered.
  5. Add meatballs to the crock pot.
  6. Pour sauce over the meatballs.
  7. Cook on high for 4-5 hours.

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Recipe: Mango Banana Smoothie

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October Unprocessed 2016: 31 Days of Real Food – The Results

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The Results

This year was my 4th attempt at this October Unprocessed “real food” challenge.  I certainly did not stick to this challenge 100% of the time, but I feel like I did better than my previous 3 attempts at the challenge and I learned more than ever this time around!  I also participated in a few Clean Eating challenges throughout the month, so that helped me to stay on track.  My weight did not change at all as a result of this challenge, but I didn’t expect it to and that wasn’t one of my goals, so that is completely fine with me.

I did find myself feeling exhausted a few weeks into the challenge because I was having to make 2 completely different meals much of the time – one for me and my husband, and then something completely different for the kids.   The last few weeks of the challenge, I just decided to compromise and make something I knew the kids would eat, and then I would make a healthier version for me to eat (for example, when the kids had tacos in taco shells, I just had the taco meat over rice.)  I let go of my need to have everything 100% unprocessed for simplicity (for example, the first time I made our favorite meatball recipe this month, I modified it to use oats instead of breadcrumbs.  As a result, the kids didn’t like it.  I didn’t feel it was worth the effort to make it 100% unprocessed and have the kids not eat it, so the next time I made it, I used the usual breadcrumbs, and I ate it.)

This year, my husband decided to join me in the beginning of the challenge, and that made it so much easier because he wasn’t bringing unhealthy foods into the house.  I think the first step to clean eating begins in the grocery store.  If you don’t buy it and you don’t bring it into the house, then you’re not going to eat it.  If you can get other family members on board, then that is a huge help, but I am not a believer in forcing anyone to take the challenge with me, especially the kids.  I believe they will learn by example and be more open to trying new foods the more they see me eating them.

This year, I’m in no rush to go back to eating junk food.  I actually WANT to continue on with the challenge and continue to find some new, healthy recipes.  Right now, I don’t even crave the Halloween candy that has filled my kitchen, and that is a big deal for me and my sweet tooth.

What Did I Learn?

I found some AMAZING new recipes this month, and I’m so excited to add them into our meal rotation and share those recipes in this post!   Continue reading

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Recipe: Taco Meat

Taco Tuesday has become one of our favorite traditions at our house!  I love it because I don’t have to decide what to cook on Tuesdays, and the kids look forward to it because they love tacos and they are able to customize it to their own tastes.  Finally, something the whole family enjoys!

When I took the October Unprocessed challenge this year, I discovered a taco seasoning recipe that my whole family loves.  I love it because it costs less than buying the seasoning packets, it is very quick and easy to make, and I know the exact ingredients that are going into it.  If you’re trying to avoid bread, this is just as delicious served on top of rice.

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Recipe: Haddock Chowder

haddock-chowder-logo

Being from Maine originally, I grew up on haddock chowder.  This chowder is the perfect comfort food on a cold, winter day.  Feel free to modify the following recipe to suit your own tastes (add celery, other fish or seafood, etc.).  Enjoy! 🙂  Continue reading

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Recipe: Chocolate Banana Smoothie

I am in the middle of taking the October Unprocessed Challenge (a challenge to eat only REAL foods for the entire month of October.)  I have been drinking lots of smoothies this month, and I have discovered a new one that I love!  This  smoothie tastes great, and it’s made with ingredients I usually always have on hand.  So, when I have plans to make a different smoothie and discover that I’m out of yogurt or berries, this is usually what I’ve been going to.  It tastes a lot like chocolate milk to me, only without the added white sugar!

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 16 ounces

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces Milk, any type (Cow's milk, Almond, Soy, Coconut...use what you prefer)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey, preferably raw and local
  • 2 Bananas, ripened and frozen
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy! 🙂

 

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October Unprocessed Challenge 2016: 8 Days of REAL Food

october-unprocessed-2016

We are almost halfway through the October Unprocessed Challenge (eating only REAL food for the entire month of October)!  This is my 4th year taking the challenge, and I am still learning so much every day!

My greatest accomplishment so far this year was finding a recipe for taco seasoning that my whole family loves!!  Taco Tuesday is so much better now, and I feel great knowing exactly what is in the seasoning!  If I get nothing else out of this challenge, I will be happy about my new taco night discovery! 🙂

This year has seemed the easiest so far of all the years I’ve attempted the challenge (last year I only lasted a few days, and then I gave up!).  This blog is what is keeping me accountable this year, and knowing that I’m going to post everything I eat is one of the main reasons I haven’t given up.  Although it seems easier than previous years, this challenge is still a LOT of work and takes a lot of planning and prep, since I often have to make 2 meals for dinner since my kids will not eat some of these new foods (although I do make them try everything.)

Below is a list of EVERYTHING I have eaten for the first 8 days, along with links to many of the recipes.  It’s not 100% unprocessed (chocolate chips are my weakness), but I am happy with my progress so far.  I am surprised that I have not really had any cravings for sweets, and I have not felt hungry at all.

For more real-food recipe ideas each day, check out the Journey To Complete Wellness Facebook page.

If you have any favorite real-food recipes, please feel free to share them in the comments on this post or on the Journey to Complete Wellness Facebook page!  I’ll take all the help I can get! 🙂

October Unprocessed 2016

Saturday, October 1

Breakfast: Omelet with Peppers, Onions, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Snack:  Grapes ,cashews, raisins
Lunch: Salad (Romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins) w/balsamic

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Dinner: Honey Balsamic Sheet Pan Chicken

This is delicious!  I will be making this again (maybe a few more times this month)! 🙂

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Sunday, October 2

Breakfast: Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes

I love these, and my 12-year old daughter does, too!

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Snack:  Celery Stick, Raisins, Grapes, Cashews
Lunch: Leftovers from Dinner and  Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

The soup is so tasty!  My 13-year-old daughter loves it as well!

Dinner:  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

This was good, but my family was not crazy about it.  I had a lot of leftovers that I froze in individual portions to use later in the month.

 

Monday, October 3

Breakfast:  Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

chocolate-banana-smoothie

Snack: Plain Greek Yogurt w/1 T honey & 1T chocolate chips, Popcorn
Lunch: Leftover Chili
Dinner: Mozzarella-Stuffed Slow Cooker Meatballs

This is a favorite in our house!

 

Tuesday, October 4

Breakfast: Leftover Banana Pancakes/Kiwi/Slice of Boar’s Head Deli Turkey
Snack: Fuji Apple, 5.3oz Greek Yogurt, ½ T Honey & 1T chocolate chips
Lunch: Leftover Chili
Dinner:  Taco Meat w/Jasmine Rice, Lettuce, Tomato. Taco Seasoning

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Wednesday, October 5

Breakfast: Leftover Banana Pancakes with Grapes
Snack:  Grapes, Chocolate Chips
Lunch: Raspberry Peanut Butter Green Smoothie (I used grape juice)
Dinner:  Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup (w/brown rice noodles)

 

Thursday, October 6

Breakfast: Scrambled Egg w/Diced Tomatoes;grapes
Snack:  Peanut Butter Cookies, cashews

pb-cookies-crop

Lunch: Leftover Chicken Soup
Dinner:  Pate Chinois

 

Friday, October 7

Breakfast: Leftover banana pancake, PB cookie
Snack: Yogurt w/honey & cc; apple; cucumbers,celery,dip,chips,salsa
Lunch: Leftover Tomato Soup
Dinner: Leftover Pate Chinois

 

Saturday, October 8

Breakfast: Leftover chicken soup
Snack: Kettle corn; Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Lunch: Strawberry/banana/yogurt/milk smoothie
Dinner: Baked Haddock,rice pilaf, and Roasted Broccoli

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