Quick, Easy and Healthy Homemade Marinara

Today Janelle from Comfy In The Kitchen is guest posting – she writes: “This recipe comes from my dear friend Mindy…we have been friends for literally our entire lives…our parents are friends and our mom’s were pregnant with us at the same time! What a blessing it is to have a life-long friend. She also comes from an Italian family who loves to cook! Mindy made this dish for me at my house a few years ago and left the recipe…Since then, I have made it over and over. It is so simple and so Bellisimo (as she would say)! The fresh herbs and garlic make this sauce!”

Crushed tomatoes, olive oil, chicken bouillon, parsley, basil, garlic, onion, black pepper, angel hair pasta There is no secret to chopping fresh herbs…but it is well worth the extra effort! Just bunch together and start chopping into small pieces. (You may substitute dry herbs for fresh- I do it all the time)

Then, take 4 cloves apart from the head of garlic and peel/chop into fine pieces.

Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pot (enough to cover the bottom of the pot) and set on medium heat

Dice onion

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender

Start boiling water for noodles…I add a touch of oil in my water to prevent the noodles from sticking (a little trick my grandma taught me)

Add noodles and boil- Angel Hair does not take long to cook..go by package instructions for al dente (appx 5 mins)

Drain well

Back to the sauce! Add bouillon, parsley, basil and pepper into the onion mixture and stir well for 1 min.

Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil for 15 mins

Add 3/4 cup of water

Let simmer for 10 more mins

Voila! Bellisimo!!! My hubby thinks it is hilarious I eat my pasta with a spoon and fork…:)

Quick, Easy and Healthy Homemade Marinara

2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes

2 tsp chicken bouillon

2 tsp fresh parsley (chopped)

1 tsp fresh basil (chopped)

4 cloves fresh garlic (diced)

1 medium onion (diced)

¼ cup olive oil

3/4 cup water

black pepper to taste

1 Package of Angel Hair Pasta( or any pasta of your liking).

Pour olive oil in large pot and turn burner onto medium/high heat. Saute diced onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add bouillon, parsley, basil in onion mixture for 1 min. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil for 15 mins. Add ½ can of water and let boil 10 more mins. Serve over Angel Hair pasta of your choice. MMMmmm…

Thank you so much Janelle for a another dynamite recipe!

Walk with the King!

If you are looking for more recipes or have one to share – visit Janelle’s new link-up today!

You can follow Janelle on her own blog Comfy In The Kitchen or on Facebook and Twitter.

I am participating in What’s Cooking Wednesday, Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , Balancing Beauty and Bedlam , and Tuesdays at the Table recipe exchanges. I am also linked up to Raising Homemakers Weds. link up and Works For Me Wednesday! For more blogger recipes go to these links.

My Fitness Instructor

If the healthy living posts this week have struck a chord with you – then I want to recommend one final resource to you – my fitness instructor!

During the first year of Women Living Well, I featured a personal friend of mine regularly. She is my fitness instructor named Clare. Clare was a friend of mine for a few years before I attended her first fitness class. I was shocked the evening after her first class – I felt like I had been hit by a semi-truck…I was SO sore – I could not move!!!

My respect for her and her ability to talk through high cardio intensity lol! and her physical strength has nothing but grown since then. At 32 weeks pregnant with her second child, she was still leading her classes. Honestly, by about 12 weeks, I would have used the excuse that I was pregnant to bow out of all challenging workout routines – but not Clare! I have officially labeled her the “bionic woman”.

Clare is not only physically fit but spiritually this girl blows me away. She is kind, always ready to help anyone who asks, a great listener, wise, hungry for God’s truth, and not shy in sharing her faith.

For over 2 years I have told her, “you must start a blog“. This girl is filled with amazing fun facts mixed with a spiritual maturity that is contagious! I am so excited to share her brand new blog that just launched late last night!!! In the early stages of her choosing her name and the other details, I invited Clare and Janelle to my home for bloggy talk – here’s some pics…

Since that night, she has worked diligently to build an on-line ministry to reach ladies who need encouragement from the inside out.

I invite you to visit her and give her a warm welcome here!

Clare – I feel like a big sister who is so proud of her little sister today!!!

Walk with the King!

How To Overcome A Constant Desire For Food

Today we have a guest – it’s Darlene – the co-author of Reshaping It All! Darlene Schacht is an ordinary mom, living an extraordinary life, because of who she is through Jesus Christ. As help-meet to her husband Michael, Darlene guides and nurtures their four children, leading them toward a deeper walk of faith. She’s also an inspirational writer and co-author of Candace Cameron Bure’s new book, “Reshaping it All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness,” a motivational tool that will put readers on the right track and keep them there. In addition to practical advice, the book offers a biblical perspective on appetite and self control that provides encouragement to women, guiding them toward freedom.

A reader recently asked me how she could overcome her constant desire for sweets. It’s a good question, since it’s a struggle that many of us have tried to defeat. The way that I see it is that we can’t control the things we desire, until our hearts have been changed. Fortunately they naturally change over time so that many of the things we once enjoyed aren’t so appealing anymore, but there are some things that we develop a passion for that never seem to go away, no matter how old we get.

Take chocolate for instance. Some of us developed a weakness for chocolate in our teens and it’s plagued us ever since. For others, like me, it’s potato chips. I just can’t seem to get enough salt. I figured that by the age of 45 this chip phase would be gone, but nope—it still rears its ugly head every time the TV goes on–or when it’s off for that matter.

So how do we separate ourselves from these passions? That question would be similar to one asking “How do I run a marathon?” The answer is simple—a sensible training program will get you there. Sure you can run without training, but all you’ll manage to get is a sprint. In order to complete in a marathon, athletes must train for months or years.

In dieting, the sprint is otherwise known as the “Yo-Yo Diet.” You start off at a great pace, but soon find out that you aren’t equipped for the long run. You can barely make a mile, never mind 26.2. A few months or a year down the road, you start again with the same uncontrolled enthusiasm you had before, and once again you lose steam. If you want to achieve long term success, you must train yourself as an athlete trains for a race—no pain no gain.

Dr. Joyce Beck, author of The Complete Beck Diet for Life, often writes about strengthening our resistance muscle, which she defines as, “a psychological muscle that is strengthened by resisting the urge to eat unplanned food.” She also says, “Life becomes so much easier when your resistance muscle is strong.” If you’re looking to find motivation and change the way you think about food, Dr. Beck’s books, The Complete Beck Diet for Life and The Beck Diet Solution are a great read.

Ways to strengthen our resistance may include:
• Passing on the junk food in the grocery store
• Making a healthy choice when eating out
• Passing on the goodies at group meetings
• Taking one trip to a buffet instead of two or more
• Eating until we’re comfortable rather than stuffed
• Limiting treats to once or twice a week, rather than daily

Our resistance is quite weak on the first three days of a new diet plan. If we can just get past the first three days, things usually seem to get a bit easier. Again if we get past the first three weeks, we start to see the muscle is strengthened and working for us.

Does this sound like a foreign concept? Compare Hebrews 12:11-12:
At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
–Hebrews 12:11-12, The Message

So, the answer to the question, “how could one overcome a constant desire for sweets?” is resistance training. No, it isn’t easy at first, but it does get easier the more we train ourselves to say “no.”

Saying “no” should never include a pacifier. If you’ve had enough sweets, then don’t fall into the trap that so many dieters do of purchasing low-cal alternatives to squeeze a little more in. A few years back, just after I took off 40 pounds, and had maintained for a while, I decided that indulging in low-cal gelatin would be a great afternoon treat. What could it hurt?

I started to get my gelatin ready the night before (cherry is my favorite), then enjoy a large bowlful the next day, in the heat of the afternoon sun. It was working for me, until I tired of the same old afternoon treat, and started rummaging through the cupboards for something better. Pretty soon ice cream and I were bathing together in the hot summer sun, day after day.

Had I just stuck with the plan, which didn’t include an afternoon treat every day, I wouldn’t have had another bad habit to kick. A better idea would have been to plan for an occasional treat.

Imagine how our children would be if every time they cried for a cookie we handed them something sweet. Teaching our children to know when they’ve had enough is an important part of their training. It’s also a part of ours.

Learn to train yourself to eat enough, to make the best choices, and to stick to the plan. That’s how you’ll win this race!

Thank you Darlene for your wisdom in this area!!! I have learned a lot from the book. If you want to learn more from Darlene visit her over at Time Warp Wives. On her blog today is a link up titled Titus 2sdays – we invite you to come link up!

Walk with the King!

Reshaping It All and a Giveaway

Over Christmas, I began reading Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness written by Candace Cameron Bure (formerly known as DJ from Full House) and Darlene Schacht who blogs over at Time Warp Wives.

Not only have I been reading it, I have been applying it!! So let me share with you a few of the principles I have learned from the book.
1. “This outer shell is simply an envelop for my spirit. The contents are precious, eternal and costly, bought with a price, and the envelop has been fashioned by the world’s greatest designer, the Creator Himself.” pg. 66 It is tempting to put too much focus on our outer “envelope”…but it is the precious contents – my spirit and soul that God has redeemed and that will live forever. But we must remember that God did choose to give us this “envelope” and he designed it as he pleased. (Psalm 139:13-16)
2. “God loves you, just the shape you are and there isn’t a single number on the scale that could ever change that.” pg. 67
3. “Each year, each week, each day, and each hour we are offered choices. Should I grab water or a soda pop, a bag of chips or an apple?…take the stairs or the elevator? The reason we fail to consider these choices as carefully as we should is because the value we place on them is so low.” pg. 83 This is SO true about learning any discipline in life. It’s the small battles won day in and day out that show a life transformed. It’s saying no to our flesh over and over and over and over that over time show a life of victory.
4. “When we resist temptation, it eventually flees.” (James 4:7) pg.83 This is so very true. For a fleeting few minutes we may face temptation when everyone is eating dessert. But when the dessert time has ended, the temptation also ends and we learn indeed we can survive without dessert!

5. “Self-disciplines when applied to our life not only bring self-respect; they also bring the respect from others around us.” pg 100 The Proverbs 31 woman led a life of discipline and as a result both her husband and children praised her. People who seek out the quick fixes are less remarkable and usually return to their old ways. But those who are diligent to lead a disciplined life – often demand the attention of others – they are remarkable!

6. Prosperity gives us the option for gluttony, a sin the Bible warns against. But many of us aren’t sure where pleasure ends and gluttony begins…Proverbs 23:20-21 speaks against a gluttonous lifestyle…in Latin gluttire means “to gulp down or swallow”…In Hebrew it means “to have in excess.” The modern definition of the word gluttony is to habitually eat to excess.” pg. 111 This is a hard truth to swallow…isn’t it *{blush}

What is fun about this book is not only does it give you great principles to live by but it also includes Candace’s testimony, solid scripture references, realistic tips to apply and even recipes!!!

This week I whipped up for my family three of Candace’s dishes! I made her Orange Chicken Fajitas, Oven Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Baked Salmon (not pictured), and her Turkey Meatloaf (ignore the butter on the potatoes – I know it’s not healthy lol! I’m a work in progress okay? hehe!). And I plan to make a few more of her recipes this week!

This gives you a great intro to this book. I highly recommend it. I honestly could write 5 posts on this book – but let me leave you with this one staggering truth! I have been applying it THIS week and I lost 3 pounds – now mind you – I’m coming off the holiday sugar rush…but I still see how this book is transforming my thinking and helping me to think clearly about what and why I eat. It feels good to be practicing self-control again in this area of my life.

Darlene has provided an extra copy of Reshaping It All for me to give away to one of you! To enter to win, simply leave a comment in the comment section. I will choose a winner this Thursday! Join me tomorrow for more on this topic!

Walk with the King!

GREAT NEWS! So many of you are entering, that I just got word from Darlene she is adding two more books to this giveaway! So I will be giving away 3 books on Thursday!!!

I am linking up to: Making Your Home Sing Monday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Raising Homemakers, and Works For Me Wednesday.

Book Review: Full by Kendal Privette

Every Tuesday I post a recipe for Tasty Tuesday – but today I am veering off from my norm to post a review that is not typically the type of book I would read. The book is titled Full and it came to me via the author herself, Kendal Privette. This book enters the mind of a woman struggling with “ed”, short for an “Eating Disorder”. Ed speaks to her over and over telling her she must not eat, she must exercise, and she is too fat.
When I received the book in the mail many weeks ago, I sat down in my kitchen and read the book cover to cover. Then, late one night I read pieces of the book out loud to my husband. Why you ask? I found it strange that I identified with the mind of an anorexic! I felt compelled to discuss this with him and being the amazing listener that he is, he completely engaged the conversation.

Let me try to explain how I identified – (and no I am not even close to having an eating disorder – this chick LOVES food!).

Here’s how page 1 reads:
ED Speaks
127 (number on the scale)
It’s too much.
Ed speaks.
I didn’t know listening was a pact.

Page 2
ed sidles up,
hissing in my ear.
sweet talking,
two pounds,
he whispers…
Page 4
Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Your works are wonderful I know that full well

total crap
I am ugly
I have a lumpy waist
stringy hair
uneven complexion
beady eyes
I am a mistake
And on and on the book goes, as we watch this 127 pound mother of two, spiral down to 98 pounds. How in the world do I relate?
Oddly enough – I weigh 127 (I’m 5’2″). That caught my attention. Secondly, I have never weighed 127 and not been pregnant – so lately things are snug – and some of her thoughts and whispers she hears, I’ve heard. I must admit the delete button is screaming for me to use it and not let these feelings be known to all of you – but I feel compelled to humbly admit this – if only it can help one other woman out there. This is not my first time to mention my mind battle with weight. But I digress and this post is not about me – it’s about the book Full.

Take 5 minutes to listen to this narrative taken from her book: Full.

Full shows the ugly side of dieting, the obsessive side of exercise and the lies Satan whispers in women’s ears. But then it shows the beautiful side of victory and freedom only found in sweet Jesus!

We must believe: Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well.”

In the end Kendal says “I believe this today.”

Do you believe this? Are you struggling to believe this? You are not alone – this world is masterful at feeding women lies about ourselves…and it does start in the mind. We must be walking daily with the King, saturating ourselves with the truth of his word and praying over every trial and temptation. Then and only then, can we have freedom in Christ Jesus.
To purchase this book go to Lulu or to Kendal’s blog here.

Walk with the King!

Tasty Tuesday: Creative Lunch Packing

Last year I asked my friend Kelly (mom of 4 in photo to the right) to take photos of her packed lunches so we could all see her creative lunch packing! Here is what she had to say to go along with her pictures:
This is actually an art form in Japan called “Bento” but I’m not that creative so I just call it “Creative Lunch Packing”. I started doing this last Fall when we began eliminating High Fructose Corn Syrup from our diet and I needed some ideas for my kids lunches. Since pretty much all prepackaged foods contain corn syrup I wanted something that could compete with the lure of Little Debbie’s but be a bit healthier. I was also trying to eliminate the amount of plastic and waste that comes from the prepackaged food. I found silicone muffin liners and use them as dividers in reusable containers. I have found lots of fun little containers at the Dollar Store and the Target Dollar Spot. Typically, I make a sandwich and then cut it into a shape with a large cookie cutter, like a pumpkin or maple leaf for Fall. They usually take fruit or veggies and dip, this one is made with peanut butter and maple syrup. I make little fruit skewers with berries, grapes, melon, or kiwi on toothpicks and you can use small cookie cutters for cucumbers or cheese slices.Yogurt covered raisins and natural applesauce with sprinkles are popular too. About once a week I send along a special little note about something they have been doing good or just about how much I love them. Recently I was cleaning out my daughter’s closet and found ALL the notes I had sent in her lunch last year so I know they treasure those. They also tell me how the other kids at school talk about their lunch and how fun it is. It does take some extra time and planning but it is worth the smile on their faces!
-written by Kelly

Maybe this will give you a few ideas of fun things you can do special for your children! My kids LOVE it when I use a cookie cutter for their sandwiches or cut small shapes in their slices of cheese – I haven’t tried to cut my cucumbers in shapes yet – but this post is inspiring me! It’s hard to find the time to do this daily – but it’s fun every now and then to spice things up a little!

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie and “In Passionate Pursuit’s” Tasty Tuesday . For more blogger recipes go to these links.

Walk with the King!

Fit Friday: Which Food Network Star Am I?

Do you watch the Food Network? Then maybe you can relate to this article below! Women Living Well’s Certified Fitness Trainer – Clare – is back with us today and here’s what she has to say:************************************

The thought occurred to me one day while on the elliptical machine and watching the Food Network, that our eating habits could be categorized by one if not many of the fabulous chefs on the Food Network. I’m not necessarily thinking about how we cook either. There are a lot of factors which figure into our physical make-up, but we can’t negate the importance and weight (no pun intended) that eating has. Sometimes we have to analyze our eating and workout habits in order to really find our true issues with weight loss. Sit down this week and think about how the foods you put into your mouth are contributing to your overall health!

Paula Deen: Is butter, sour cream, fried foods, and more butter your mantra?! If so, chances are you may end up being a little, shall we say, “softer” around the middle. Unless you are looking to gain some weight, veer away from the fatty and fried foods. Always allow yourself a treat though because butter is OH so good ya’ll!!

Rachael Ray: Do you cook with boxed items, some fresh ingredients and lots of pasta? Rachael provides a good way for many of us to cook with items already in the pantry (and relatively inexpensive) but with being able to add some fresh ingredients. Rachael by no means is over-weight, but to some, may not be as “thin” as they themselves would like to look. She probably represents where many of us fall in regards to fixing meals and eating.

Giada DeLaurentis: If you are like me, Giada’s physique is one to be admired! You’ll notice that she cooks great, flavorful food and eats desserts, breads, and appetizers alike. However you’ll find that she mainly uses food in their “original” form…herbs, vegetables, fruits, fish, healthy oils…If you want a lean physique like hers while enjoying the variety of foods out there, then try to mimic that kind of cooking.

Where do you fall? I’m somewhere between Rachael and Giada with a sprinkling of Paula. Grab recipes from the cooks whose waistline you admire and maybe you’ll see some changes in yours!!

I appreciate Clare’s advice and that’s some great food for thought!
Walk with the King!

Tasty Tuesday: Cottage Cheese Salad

 Clare from Peak313.com has whipped up this salad for us!!! I’ve had it now a few times at get togethers on pita chips and on veggies and MMMMM…it is good!

Clare says:
“If you are like me, getting veggies in to meet your daily quota is a difficult task. A salad like this is a great way to get the antioxidents we need along with some protein to give us a fuller feeling longer. With crunchy fresh veggies and zesty ranch dressing, you’ll enjoy every bite!”

Cottage Cheese Salad
1 cup (8oz) cottage cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon ranch salad dressing mix (*Do NOT buy the ranch “dip” mix..BIG mistake!!)In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve immediately.* The recipe as made above is considered a salad, however many enjoy it as a dip. If that’s the case, omit putting the veggies in the dip and just make the base of the salad. Then serve it with veggies or pita chips.

Walk with the King!