Scrumptious Banana Bread

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I hope this photo brings you some encouragement today! Praying is so important. It brings us close to our heavenly Father, and where else would we rather be? 😊

And now for some yummy food!

We all know the drill. You’re at the grocery store and the bananas are only .59/lb. So you buy a few. (Okay, who are we kidding? You buy a lot!)

The bananas turn brown and it’s time to make banana bread—a super moist, sugary, delicious, and full-of-so-much-fat loaf of banana bread. But this is getting you nowhere close to your fitness goals. So guess what? It’s time to modify.

(By the way… even though this is “healthy” bread, try not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting! ☺ )

Note: I use coconut sugar and oil in this recipe. I have also made this recipe using brown sugar and canola oil, but when I made it using the coconut oil and sugar, it was the best banana bread I’ve ever had! And it’s healthier for you too! Coconut oil is a healthy fat (good for your brain), and coconut sugar has a low glycemic level, so it won’t spike your blood sugar and then leave you with a crash!

Banana Bread:
1 ½ c. flour (you can use whole wheat, unbleached white, or whichever kind you prefer)
1 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt

1 egg, beaten
½-¾ c. coconut sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
½ c. plain Greek yogurt (non-fat)
¼ c. coconut oil
1 c. mashed bananas (I use 3 medium sized bananas)
2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8×4 pan with cooking spray.
Combine the first 5 ingredients in medium sized bowl and mix; set aside. Combine the last 6 ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and blend just until flour mixture is incorporated. (Don’t over mix!)

Bake between 50-60 minutes, or whenever a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Let it cool a bit before you try some… I know… the temptation is almost unbearable!

Warning: Your home will smell AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS.

☺ Enjoy!
-Amber 

Some Nutrition Facts: (1 serving=1/10 of loaf)
Calories (Energy!): 194 (211 if you use ¾ c. sugar)
Fat: 6 grams
Protein: 4 grams
(I modified this recipe from http://eatingcleanrecipes.com/2010/01/whole-wheat-banana-bread/.)

Being Full of Thanks

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It is easy to think about all of the woes we have in life… I could name a few, but that’s just not the point of this message. I’ll be straight with you… today I was full of woes. Nothing going right, everything going wrong. And now that I look back, I’m really embarrassed and ashamed. (But hey—there’s no sense in feeling bad over it because sometimes… cranky moods just happen. So when they DO happen, we need to have a game plan.)

And the game plan is easy.

Be THANKFUL.

For the people you have in your life, the job you have, or the talents you have been blessed with. For the roof over your head, and the people you get to smile at.  For the food you have to eat, the beautiful great outdoors, and the night sky’s natural beauty. For the music you get to listen to and the sports you can participate in. Think of anything and you can find a way to be grateful for it.

So next time you catch yourself in this crankiness, immediately recognize what’s going on (that you are feeling sorry for yourself.) This is vital—because if you keep on in that mindset, it becomes more difficult to get out of it.

Find, seek, and pursue thankfulness. Don’t stop searching until you’ve abandoned your “sorry” focus for your grateful focus!

Life in a New Town

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Moving to a new town can be difficult. Actually… let me rephrase that. It can be EXTREMELY difficult. As if packing up your life into a truck isn’t hard enough. Beginning in a new town presents many challenges, such as adjusting to unfamiliar roads and traffic, finding the best place to buy your groceries, where to workout (whether in a gym or finding the best running path in your area) and settling into your new home. I have just recently relocated with my husband and cat (she did surprisingly well during the move!) and here are a few things that have helped me during this transition…

  1. Breathe……………. Go ahead… take a deep, long breath right now! Because it’s going to be okay. Yes, there are struggles to face ahead of you, but you can meet all the demands confronting you today! Just take it one step… and one breath… at a time.
  2. Make a list! There are so many things to do during the process of moving and even after you settle in. Writing down your to-do list will free your mind of pressure that comes with trying to remember every little thing. So keep your pen and some paper nearby… when you think of something you need to do, jot it down, and keep going with the task at hand. You’ll be more productive by cutting out the distractions of trying to do everything at once!
  3. Create a routine. Getting yourself into a routine gives your life structure, and will help you settle in to your new life with more flow. We are creatures of habit, and re-establishing your habits will help you to feel right at home.
  4. Set your goals. And re-think your goals… they may have changed since you last looked at or gave any thought to them! We grow and change throughout life, and our goals should be flexible enough to change with us. In your goals, try to somehow incorporate what you are passionate about… doing what you love creates a drive to succeed like none other. If you think your talent/passion/doing what you love is not a realistic goal or way to succeed, think outside of the box! Get creative with what you love to do and find a way to incorporate it into your life.
  5. Relax! Don’t fret the small stuff. Work hard while you’re working, but at the end of the day, take time to rest and be thankful for everything you accomplished. Don’t be critical of yourself… if you didn’t like the way your day went, make a list for the next day and be conscious of making a change for the better. Enjoy this new stage of your life!!!