Day 641: Protein Banana Bar

I’m not one to usually post recipes two days in a row, and if you follow The Covenant Diet on instagram, facebook, or twitter then you’ve already seen this one, so I’m posting it for those of you that are my blog-only friends!

Essentially, I have been swimming more and realized that my energy was totally tanking in the afternoons when I would swim and so I asked my friends on facebook to help me with some ideas. The consensus was: eat protein pretty quickly after workout. I like to avoid processed stuff when I can, so when my friend Kaci mentioned this idea, I tried it out and LOVED it!

protein banana bar

Protein Banana Bar

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 Tbsp shredded coconut
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter (give or take)
  1. In a shallow plate combine 1/4 cup oats, a tablespoon shredded coconut, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  2. Cut two bananas in half and smear them with peanut butter (or almond butter would be yummo as well).
  3. Roll the bananas in the oat mixture. And bada bam bada bing… a yummy post-recovery workout bar for you and a friend!

 

Day 345: Choice Foods

Ya know, it’s one thing for me to say “I’m only gonna eat fruit for snacks from now on.” But it’s another thing entirely for me to actually eat only fruit for snacks.

Cause when it comes down to it- I have to choose fruit instead of a Doritos. I even have to choose fruit over “healthy” things like granola. (Cause even granola isn’t healthy if I’m eating it when I’m not hungry, or eating too much of it.)

And the choice part is where I tend to make-it or break-it. I can hear the rationalizations in my head (well, I can hear them after the fact, at least):

• Ohhhhh, it’s just one.
• I’m in too much of a hurry.
• These taste so much better than fruit.
• This isn’t really a snack, per se, it is sorta like part of my lunch since I only ate, like, 30 minutes ago.

So I was looking into choice-making in scripture and here are a few that I found.

Here’s one that is ever-important to read, but it certainly cuts right to the point…

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.Proverbs 14:12

And those Doritos… well, they sure do seeeeeem right. But, well, they will end in death. They will. As much as I hate to admit that to myself… they are bad for my body. bad for my temple. and bad for my relationship with God.

Then there’s the tried and true “fork in the road” verses…

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.Matthew 7:13

And I know these verses are not “about” dieting per se, but the concept is similar. It is sooooo muchhhhh easier to eat Doritos instead of a clementine. But, I want to go through the gateway to LIFE… but it is difficult sometimes. But… I read that again… the. gateway. to. life. What is a Doritos chip compared with that?!?!

And I love/hate these verses. Another in-yo’-face scripture about choosing right.

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.Galatians 6:7-9

And then my favorite to end with… about choosing what to think about…

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Philippians 4:8

Day 343: Fruit Snacks

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So, I have decided to eat only fruit for snacks.

You might remember that a while back I did a “sans-snacky” thing for a couple of weeks where I fasted from snacking.

Yeah… that was hard. And I kind of realized afterward that although it showed me A LOT of how much I was snacking I realized that there are a lot of days where I still need a snack. Especially with my go-go-go life (thanks to having an active toddler!) I oftentimes don’t get to eat complete meals and so snacking can fill in those hunger gaps for me.

But when it’s notttttt so good for me is when I am choosing to eat junk as my snack.

Chips. Tortillas. Saltines. You name it… those suckers always come back to haunt me. But, here is what I have noticed over the past few days (and yes, I’m SURE that I noticed this a gazillion days ago too, but, like I said, it’s like I have to learn some of these concepts (the hard way) like five or six times before they break through the habit that is already ingrained)… I have noticed that I have this little mental conversation going on:

Jesus Me: Ooooo, I’m hungry. I need a snack.

Earthly Me: Hmmmm, I think I’ll snag a handful of those Nacho Cheese Doritos!

Jesus Me: Oh, but wait… remember, only fruit for snacks.

Earthly Me: Ehhhhh, I’m not hungry anyway.

And often… I’m not hungry. I’m just eating… because! So, this allows me to really gauge if I’m eating to fulfill some other need or to fulfill hunger: “Okay, I’m flipping ravenous… I’m going to eat a clementine… or a banana… or grapes.”

And all of this refocus reminds me of this verse:

    Do not love this world nor the things it offers you {like Nacho Cheese Doritos}, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17

Day 219: Nothing Good Happens After… 7pm

Day 16 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

So, even though I don’t weigh myself, like I was saying the other day… I still have sizes that tell me if I’m losing weight or not. And lately, it’s been a bit slower than it was at the beginning. I know that’s because I’m so much closer to my ideal weight than I was in January (thank you, Jesus), but I also know that there is still some extra lovin’ hanging around on me.

I am hanging around a loose 10 and a fitted 8. And I’ve been there for most of the summer. Actually, I don’t think I’d have fit into an 8 at the beginning of the summer so I might have lost a bit.

So lately, I have been really evaluating my eating to see if that is an indication of why I am sorta at a plateau. Again, it might just be that my body is finding homeostasis like I talked about on day 115, and I’m cool with that.

Well, honestly, even as I write “I am cool with that”… in my heart, I’m not “cool with that”. I want to be skinny. I want to wear a size six. I want my body to be admired, envied, coveted.

Are my desires in the right spot? No. But those are my real desires. Godly or not. That’s where my mind wants to go.

And that is the entire point of this covenant: to be transformed. to be renewed. to be changed. on the inside. Perhaps the outside of me will be transformed, renewed, changed, but the purpose is to allow God to do all those things to my soul.

Okay, but honestly that was a bit of a divergence from my original topic! Ha! Got a bit carried away by the good ol’ Holy Spirit!

I was talking with my covenant companion, Christy, the other day and she mentioned that she is no longer eating after 7:00pm. I just kept thinking about that. Cause you know what they say, “Nothing good happens after… 7pm!” Right?!?! Haha! But seriously, there is very rarely any purposeful eating after 7pm. It’s usually tied to some other feeling or emotion.

Exhaustion.
Sadness.
Loneliness.
Boredom.

There are a bunch it could be. But whatever the reason, I often find myself snacking during those late evening hours. It’s a bit like my afternoon hot spot that I talked about the other day.

So, I decided that I’d give the no-eating-after-7pm thing a go.

Wowsers. It was one of the hardest thing I’ve done since the beginning of my covenant! But that was a great sign that I had found yet another snackie hot spot like I discovered a few days ago that needed some fixing!

So, we’ll see in a few days if I’m still as impressed with the “After 7pm Fast” as much as I was last night!

Day 125: Uh Oh…

Haha – well, I knew what I wanted to title this already but I just sorta started to think that someone might look at just the title in their inbox and think, “Oh, poor January, she musta broken her covenant again. Bless her heart.” (Which, I’m a southern woman… “Bless her heart” never means that for real, it means, “Oh thank heavens someone has messed up so I can feel better about myself!” haha)

But, it’s not so much about that at all (Thank Ya Jesus!) but about a friend of mine that called a couple of days ago (whom I have yet to call back because I’m a crazy woman with crazy kids that can’t seem to be quiet long enough for me to make a phone call and when they are sleeping, I have to be quiet so that they can sleep, y’all know the drill… even if you don’t have kids then you probably have some crazy sister-in-law or cousin who has young kids… we tend to be pretty crazy protective of the nap time!!!). She recently started the covenant and called saying that she was a little freaked out because she had gained four pounds.

So I’m going to write my friend Rhonda a post in response to her call… sorta kill two birds with one stone, ya know? Plus, I had another friend, Christy, who had the exact same thing happen to her.

First of all, I don’t know! haha! I had no idea that I would lose weight myself so quickly. I had no idea if I would lose weight at all… I just hoped that I would.

GET OFF TOSS THE SCALE: So, really, my first thing would be to say that it cannot be about the weight. If I have learned anything through this process, it is to not weigh. Allow your clothes not fitting to be your only guide if you have to have a guide… as difficult as that may be. We just need to forget all of this weight stuff… these arbitrary numbers. This body of ours that God has designed is infinitely complex and it responds to eating, not eating, changing diets, etc. exactly as it should. So, if you know that you are eating foods that honor God and only eating until you are satisfied/no longer hungry, then just turn your focus to Him. Which leads me to my next point…

FOCUS ON HIM: I think that the best part of the covenant so far as been how much it has forced me to read the Word of God. I mean, like I have said, I have been reading through the bible since October but this has taken it to a whole new level because I am relying on the Word to save me (in a non-get-salvation-go-to-heaven kind of way, of course). When I need some of those things that I turned to food for before (comfort, entertainment, relief, relaxation, etc), now I turn to the Word (well, at least 95% of the time – haha… okay, okay, 92% of the time). And it has been so awesome to see Him sustain me with just the Word. It truly is POWER and it keeps me from overeating or eating when I’m not hungry or eating what I have agreed not to eat… which leads me to my next point as well…

WHAT’S THE PROB: I think it’s important to take a real-honest-to-God look at myself every once in a while and evaluate the way I eat and decide if I think it honors God or not. Most of the time… well, actually, so far… All of the time that I have been gaining or not losing it has been because:

  • I was overeating (eating when I’m not hungry for some “other” reason that wasn’t hunger and/or eating when I am already full) or because
  • I was eating too many processed or “easy” foods (i.e. bread, tortillas, peanuts, cheese) instead of foods that would really honor God because they are beneficial for my body (i.e. fruits and vegetables).

In fact, this has been really good for me to write about because I have been going through a similar “Why am I not losing?” kind of phase. I think that knocking out the bread and chips will help me out in that area because they were becoming an all-too-frequent “go to” but I also think that I’m going to come up with a new rule for myself… if I am hungry and it’s not a meal (like it’s snack time) then I can eat fruit. I still don’t tend to “default” to fruit even though it completely rox my sox and I really have gotten to the point where I love it…

  1. I just need to have it around all the time so I need to be more diligent about getting to the store… the same way I am about whole milk for my toddler I need to be about fruit for me… if we are out then I need to get my bootie to the store and load up, and
  2. I need to help renew my mind so that it defaults to fruit. I have gotten my mind to “default” to the Word to sustain me and now I need to retrain this “go to” into a fruit thang.

Okay, Rhonda, again… sorry for not calling back but turns out it was really good for ME to have to sit down and sort of hash this out! Haha! And well, it IS all about me, right?!!? Haha! Either way, this post is for you!!!

Update: Rhonda texted me a couple days after this post to let me know that she had lost 7 pounds but was gonna stay off the scale for the next month and a half! Blessings and peace to Rhonda!

Day 102: Tortilla Temptations

Okay. Seriously never thought that tortillas would be an area of temptation for me. I mean… don’t get me wrong… I have always enjoyed a good quality tortilla, but a tortilla temptation issue? Nahhhhh.

Untilllllll now.

Cause twice in the past two weeks since I have been off of my hard-core Lent fast of only veggies, fruits, and nuts… I have over eaten tortillas.

I think the reason is that I am “ignoring” a little caveat in my covenant.

I am only to eat bread, pasta, or rice if it is necessary for a meal. Like, enchiladas have to have tortillas… so I can eat them. Lasagna has to have pasta… so I can eat it. Stuffed bell peppers has to have rice… so I can have it.

But let me point out one thing. I said I can have it for a meal. Not as a snack… which is how I have been having it.

So I am going against my covenant in two ways:
1) I am eating bread when it is not a necessary part of a meal.
2) I am overeating them!

One incident and I might have written it off as a flub. (Is flub a word?) But twice? Well, it makes it clear to me that it was a choice.

And when I sorta “realized” that today… I started thinking of how I needed to reign that food in. Should I go no bread for three weeks? Should I just say no to tortillas? Should I go back on my Lent fast?

And then I remembered some reading from yesterday that I did (see how important it is for me to be reading my Bible?) about when the priests found the scroll in the temple with the covenant in it. They told King Josiah and he was all torn up about it and he started making reforms like crazy. I mean… the dude went hard core getting rid of all the stuff that was pulling people away from God. So you might think that is leading me towards doing another hard-core Lent fast, but actually I was sorta brought to a different conclusion. Look at this verse:

The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord ‘s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. 2 Kings 23:3

And I think that’s sorta what I need to do. I need to renew the covenant. Not that God has faltered or anything but I want to remember the original purpose. the point of it all. and to remember the One who is helping me.

I’m not entirely sure how to go about that. I know that writing it down and then praying it often works for me. There almost needs to be some sort of “ceremony” to it in order for it to really embed the thoughts in my mind and heart.

Either way, I need to make me some veggie enchiladas so I can use up all those dern tortillas!!!

Day Seventy: Grab ‘N Go

Going to church on Sundays, I never seem to eat breakfast before we leave. I’m not entirely sure why because it’s 30 minutes later than when we leave during a weekday. But, nonetheless, I always seem to find myself walking out the door with my sons to realize that I am hungry… and if I am hungry at 8:30 then I’m really gonna be hungry at 12:00 when we get home.

So on Sunday, I was grabbing the bags to load everyone up, realized that I hadn’t eaten, and then glanced around the kitchen. Rushing, I grabbed a banana and an apple.

And as I snacked on them on the way to church, I thought… ya know, I never used to grab a banana or an apple for an “on the go” snack. It was like I always used the excuse that they were “too messy”. But… they aren’t. They aren’t messy at all really. No more so than pop tart or muffin crumbles all over my shirt. In fact, possibly they are less messy.

I have been keen to point out over the past couple months that I don’t think the “what” I’m eating is the problem and I still don’t think that a pop tart or a muffin are inherently evil, but I guess it can go back to this verse:

“I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

I don’t think I would have needed a nutritionist to tell me that a banana was better than a pop tart in terms of what it can offer my body. Even if I just look to Daniel’s request as a guide, I know that the “beneficial” foods are vegetables and water. So under normal non-fasting circumstances, if I have a choice between a pop tart and a banana, it really is more beneficial to have a banana.

Like I have mentioned before, there is just something less-addictive about bananas, or apples, or grapes than sugar. I’m sure that there is tons of research to show why this is the case, but honestly, I don’t need to see the research to know that sugar compels me far more than a banana. And again, the goal here is for food to transfer from being something I’m fascinated by into something that I enjoy but don’t… fixate upon.

Now I know that this is almost a replica of this post, but I guess that’s the reason that I went on this covenant for a year… because some of these issues are apparently going to keep popping up until they are squelched. And after ingraining habits for 33 years, it is just gonna take several times to retrain and renew my mind. I’m okay with that…

I looked today at how many days I have left (I have this countdown app on my phone) and it was at 288. At first I was like “Less than 300 days left! Yahoo!” But then when I really thought about it… I was like, well… I’m not really in a rush. I mean, after only two months and a bit I am changing and growing and renewing and, well, and all those wonderful things. I now want to be on here at least another two months to see where my heart and soul are at that point! At times I don’t even care how my body changes because I am so enjoying the change within me.

I think that is definitely worth trading a pop tart for a banana, any day!

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Day Sixty-Five: Sleepy Snackies

Sooooo my youngest son (he’ll be two in about two months) is teething… again. And he is just as overdramatic as his mother, but even more so when he is teething. Needless to say, I got very little sleep last night.

And I’m not sure if this is common for others or not, but I get soooooooo snackie when I’m tired. And like I have said before, snacking is not “evil”, but I do think that eating when I’m not hungry isn’t part of God’s design for my body.

Well, actually, maybe it is… because what does my body do when I eat when my body doesn’t need food? It stores it… as fat. It’s kind of brilliant actually. If I’m not going to be able to eat for a long time then I might need to eat to store up for the winter (this is just an example by the way… I don’t live in an environment where I might need to do this). And God designed our bodies to be able to survive like this.

But eating when I’m not hungry and when there is an over abundance of food for today, tomorrow, and the foreseeable future isn’t what He designed.

But I think this response is similar to a hunger pang or craving. My body is searching for energy. Oftentimes I get my energy from food. But when I am “starved” of sleep then I “crave” energy. But what I really need is rest.

It’s just like me craving or needing sugar like from a clementine or a pineapple but eating a Snicker’s bar instead. I crave sleep but eat something instead.

So, what I would like to do is to take those three minutes or however long it would have taken me to get or prepare a snack and spend it resting my mind. Like most people, I can’t stop and take a nap whenever I realize that I’m hungry, but that doesn’t mean that I need to eat either. But I can take three minutes (most of the time) to rest my mind.

And not to alienate anyone who might think this is a hippy kind of thing or of some other religion, but this is a time to meditate. To meditate on God.

Here is a verse that I found to be appropriate to the situation even though it’s not about being awake at night (but being sleepy during the day feels similar). But I like how the first verse about thinking and meditating on God leads right into thoughts about God being our helper…

I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 63:6-7

But honestly as I looked up verses on meditating, most of them are about meditating on the Law. Although I don’t think of this as bringing peace or energy… David mentions it multiple times. And I tend to be surprised at the way the Word works in my soul, so something to think on… maybe even meditating on the Law could be beneficial during those times.

But, hopefully, the blessing of sleep filled nights will be on all of us!

Day Forty-Six: Processed Ponderings

I have been amazed at how quickly being on a hard-core Daniel Fast has shown me that I was a bit more dependent upon processed foods than I realized. Yesterday I was a little shocked at how little I had to eat in the house. None of it was “horrible” for me per se, but there is just a sea of pretzel chips, pastas, rice, breads, cheese, eggs, etc that I kept trying to revert to at my meal and snack times.

Granted, I really need to go to the store to get some more fruit options. I find myself not wanting grapes (which will work out fine because my youngest lovvvvvvves them), but I tend to really enjoy cantaloupe, pineapple, apples, clementines, raisins, peanuts, avocados, and carrots as my “easy-to-eat” options. My favorite “cooked” thing is certainly potatoes! Yummmmmm! And I just ran out of La Madeline’s Tomato Basil soup which is deeeeelish.

I bring up all of those foods to remind myself that even though I might have felt like this was an incredible sacrifice, it’s actually quite yummy. I think I’ll even purposefully do a “Hard-Core Daniel Day” each week for the duration of my covenant just to refocus my mind off of processed “easy” foods.

But also… you know, the point of “Lenting” is to focus my mind entirely on Christ, and my mind often goes to Him fasting in the desert for 40 days.

Let me break that down for ya.

NO. FOOD. FOR. FORTY. DAYS.

I cannot even imagine that. I can’t even remember the last time I went one day without food much less FORTY. And in the hot, dry desert.

And ya know, now that I think about it. I can’t remember why He did that.

Time to read…

Okay, I’m back.

So, the Bible says in Matthew, Mark, and Luke that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the spirit.

And then I read about Elijah and Moses’s 40 Day Fasts as well (thanks to seeing it on a Wikipedia page when I was looking for a scripture reference). Elijah was sorta “forced” into it by the spirit because he was running away from Jezebel and had to walk for 40 days through the desert going to Mount Sinai. But again, he was led by the spirit.

Moses was also sorta “trapped” up on the mountain with God for 40 days while God tapped out the Ten Commandments for the covenant. Annnnnd again, led by the spirit or in his case he was told directly by God himself to stick around!

But here is what I think is cool about each of these… being led by the spirit to fast may come with 40 days of trial, but it always ends up TOTALLY RAD. Check this:

Moses – doesn’t eat for 40 days but he is chillin with God Almighty – COMES DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN GLOWING WITH GOD’S GLORY!!!

Elijah – doesn’t eat for 40 days while he has to walk across the desert – AND THEN GOD TALKS TO HIM DIRECTLY AND TELLS HIM JUST WHAT TO DO!!!

Jesus – doesn’t eat for 40 days in the desert – GIVES SATAN THE SMACK DOWN AND HAS ANGELS BRING HIM FOOD!

So, all of that to say, a fast might be difficult, but at the end of 40 days… God’s Power, God’s Voice And Direction, and God’s Strength To Resist Temptation… is there.

That’s about the coolest thing that I have ever had to look forward to!

(If you are confused thinking, “Wait, I thought you were already doing a Daniel Fast?” I’m doing what I call a “flexible Daniel Fast” for the year, but for the Lenten season I will do a regular ol’ Daniel Fast… which I call a “Hard-Core Daniel Fast” because only fruits, veggies, and nuts… that is hard core! You can read a little about the differences here. And you can also read my post where I realized I should do a “Hard-Core Daniel Fast” for Lent.)