Because I Can!

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The cold, dry air was burning my wet, dripping nose. The birds were starting to sing their morning songs. That weird lighting on the streets from the combination of the suns glow starting to shine and the street lights glow. I went for a 4 mile run this morning at 5:30am. I was determined to get out there and get back into running early mornings! I woke up and though, “I’m going to be skinny!”

Well, by the time I got about three-quarters of a mile my nose was running like Niagara Falls, my lungs were burning worse than my calves were, and I felt like my heart was in my throat. I was no longer determined and I just ran back home. My 4 mile run that used to be an easy warm up in the early morning was actually a mile and a half run in hell for me today. When I got home, I looked right at the shiny, red face in the mirror and thought to myself, what a disappointment! I beat myself up over it and then told my best friend about how down I felt.

She reminded me of why I’m even a runner to begin with! I run because I can. In high school I hated running! I hated running with a passion. You couldn’t even pay me to run without a soccer ball or softball around. To run track or cross country was such a miserable idea to me! Then, from age 18 to 20 I found myself having trouble with running. This trouble was no longer mental, it was physical this time around. If I tried to run, I’d get so light headed and weak and then pass out. I couldn’t even sing out loud in my car driving to school anymore without the fear of exhausting myself.

After a few times of passing out while hiking with my dog, Jolie, I decided to finally tell someone and get help. After many, many different doctors offices and seeing different specialist, I finally had the right medical tests done. Sitting in a cardiologists office, I was finally diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White. It was the answer to my many prayers and questions. I scheduled myself for surgery to fix the problem immediately.

16 Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice” – that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
Hebrews 13:16 MSG

So today was just a rough morning. I’m about to go for a two mile jog (good or bad, doesn’t matter) and then sing my little lungs out on my way to work tonight!! Tomorrow morning I’ll give it another shot! Hope things go better!

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Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

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When taking away bad habits, no matter what they are nor the reason, it’s difficult. Your good habits might not stick unless you really want them too. What better way to do so than having a good time with them! Laissez les bons temps rouler!” is a Cajun expression meaning, “Let the good times roll!”

My family is not from Louisiana, nor are we from any of the surrounding states. Even with that said, we do have quite the New Orleans culture in us! Gumbo, Jambalaya, Big Band jazz, Blues, that’s all good stuff that you’ll find in our house hold. Some of my favorite things to eat are fried okra, I love fried pickles, too! Actually, I love everything and anything fried… It’s one of my bad habits. Oh, and my mom makes a killer bread pudding with praline liquor! Oh my goodness!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Anyways, doing this fast from processed food and all meats and dairy, I’ve found that it’s very difficult to say no to these delicious meals! Just yesterday my dad made chicken and sausage jambalaya. Oh man, did I want some!! While he prepared his ingredients, so did I, for veggie jambalaya! Pretty good!
Try it for yourself!

1 small sweet onion (diced)
1 large bell pepper (diced)
3 sticks of celery (diced)
1 small diced tomato
1 teaspoon thyme
1 skinny yellow squash (half inch slices)
5 dense baby Bella mushrooms (large slices)
3 cloves of garlic (smashed and minced)
1 jalapeño (cut to your liking)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Chachere’s Bold Creole seasoning (to taste)
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water

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In a deep pan, with a lid, put your oil, onions, bell pepper, celery, tomato and thyme. Sauté the veggies on high heat until they are cooked how you like. Then, bring it down to a low fire, throw in your squash, mushrooms, garlic, and jalapeño. Mix everything together and add your creole seasoning.

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Put your rice in, mix the pot so everything is mixed well, then poor the two cups of water over it. Place the lid on and leave it for about 45 minutes. Do not remove the lid or you’ll release all the steam. After 45 minutes, take off the lid, mix very little and taste. Add more seasoning, salt or pepper if needed. If the rice isn’t done put the lid on for a little longer more until tender. Remove the lid and enjoy!

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Black Bean Burgers

Mix black beans and these 10 yummy ingredients in a food processor and you’ll have the best fake burger you’ll ever eat! Haha! I’m not a vegetarian, so yes, black bean patties are fake burgers to me! Delicious fake burgers that is! Doing the Daniel Fast for 21 days this month is difficult for me, but with the support of my church members, and delicious veggie foods like this, I know I’m going to finish as a changed woman! Hah! Try out this bean patty, prepare it just like you would any other burger, and I’m sure you’ll love it, too! I eat mine protein style!

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.

Daniel 1:8-20

So for this recipe, you can either start with fresh homemade black beans or you can use a can of pre-made black beans.

Homemade black beans…

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) bag of dry black beans
2 bay leaves
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 tbsp of oil
Cold water

Directions:
Take the beans and let them soak in the cold water over night. Put the beans in a large pot on the stove and fill it 2 inches over the beans. They will soak up the water and be more tender. Drain (if there’s anything to drain) and rinse. Put the beans, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp of oil, and 4 cups of broth in the pot and cook on medium for about an hour and 20 minutes, or until beans are tender. The oil is optional, it just helps prevents foam during the boil. When all the beans are tender, take the 2 bay leaves out and strain any excess broth.

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To make the burger deliciousness…

Ingredients:

Cooked black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 diced garlic clove
1 large chopped jalapeño (leave seeds and veins in if you want spice)
1 small lime
1 egg (optional)
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup bread crumbs (whole wheat)

Deliciousness directions:

In a food processor, put the beans, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, and onions and mix! Then add the egg (optional), salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix in the food processor until all is one consistency. Add the bread crumbs 1 table spoon at a time until the mixture becomes a thick paste-like consistency.

Pour the extra breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl to coat your patties in. Grab a handful size of your now made bean paste and shape into a patty. Lay the patty in the bread crumbs to coat both sides. Place your finished patties on wax paper and put them in the fridge for 20 minutes or until ready to cook. The colder, the better to work with. You can cook them just like a regular burger in a flat pan on the stove top for about 7 minutes each side, or in the oven on 350 for 5 minutes each side. Brown the patties and enjoy just like any other burger.

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I like to eat mine wrapped in lettuce, with mustard, tomato, pickles, and onion. I’ve also had it on a whole grain hamburger bun with all my fixings. So delicious!

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I Thought You Said Rum…

So I belong to a community running team. We are like a big family and we spend a lot of time together. We have a big holiday party at a banquet hall where we all dress up red carpet style, eat, drink, and play music and photo slide shows! It’s a wonderful time to get together, catch up, and meet each others crazy other halves!


Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

Well, as great as it all is, I work weekends and didn’t make it this year. So instead, I went to the morning after PreChristmas Hike! It was put together by one of our wonderful members for the runners, like me, who couldn’t attend. I got my invitation and the picture was people with Rumchata, Santa hats, and clearly photoshopped male models hanging out with extremely large Christmas ornaments. Well, looked fun to me! I RSVPed and signed up to bring two dozen tamales!

I’m not much of a morning person, so it was really hard to get up at the crack of dawn knowing how cold it was going to be outside. One of my running buddies picked me up at 6:30 in the morning and drove us to the base of the mountain! It was a freezing cold morning but I had my large insulated bag of hot tamales keeping my ass warm! We arrived at our meeting spot and I just saw a bunch of friends dressed up so silly! Other than all the red and green, they had high pattern socks, silly hats, and one even wore a fake Santa mustache and beard! They also all had their backpacks, water bottles, and garmin watches ready! Yup, this was for reals… we are really hiking a few miles today! All in all, it was a fantastic time!

Note to self: run and rum are two very different things!

We hiked to the top and set up all the goods on two tables. Let me tell you, for being an of health freak runners, today must have been carb day! There was food galore! Oh, and there was rum… Lots of rum! Lots of alcohol actually! Drinking at 8 in the morning was a fun experience, but not as fun as the adventure getting back down the mountain. Hahaha! Well, one of our members announced she had to use the bathroom so was going to take a short cut. Five other runners and I followed her. Her screaming bladder must have fogged her mind… “I think I made a wrong turn guys…” Oh it was wonderful! A bunch of intoxicated people dressed up like Christmas hallmark fools are now scaling down the side of the mountain! It was definitely a sight to see! Everyone worked together and made the full hike alive and not injured! Just another wild outdoor experience with my running family!

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