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Collard Green Dreams

Sham

Collard.jpg

Collard Greens. 

We Know them. We love them. We eat them. 

But did you know collards can…

Improve digestion

  • Greens are packed with fiber, which can help to keep things regular. Don't forget... soluble fiber can also keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range!

Promote bone health

  • Eating just ½ cup of collards can give you over 100% of your daily recommended vitamin K. Vitamin K helps your body absorb calcium and keeps your bones healthy.

Fight Cancer

  • Cruciferous vegetables, like collards, have sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates can be converted into compounds that may help lower cancer risk by supporting your body's detox and anti-inflammatory systems.

Boost hair & skin regimen

  • The mix of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Iron helps to provide moisture, build collagen, and prevent hair loss. Simply filling your plate with collard greens won't necessarily answer all your prayers, but it will make a great addition to any skin care routine!

 

...So, what have we really been doing?

I’ll tell you. We’ve been cooking our collards to DEATH, which causes us to lose many of the nutrients mentioned above. Op. Did I forget to mention the neck bones, ham hocks, bacon, and/or any other meat we use to flavor our greens? It's time for a change!

How to pick ‘em

Let's start by talking about how to pick the right bunch. Look for collard greens with firm, deep-green leaves. Smaller leaves tend to be more tender and less bitter than larger collard leaves. It’s all a matter of preference!

How to Cook ‘em

Lightly steaming or sautéing collards is the best ways to keep the nutrients high. I’ll be showing you a few ways to switch it up with collard greens over the next few weeks.

Stay tuned!

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God's Plan

Sham

In my spirit, I felt my next chapter would be in DC. So, this is the statement I kept repeating to myself over the past two years. "I will be in DC by February 2018."

Read More

Are You Really Too Busy For Breakfast?

Sham

 Image courtesy of Shamera Robinson, MPH, RDN, LDN

Image courtesy of Shamera Robinson, MPH, RDN, LDN

"I'm not hungry."

"There's not enough time."

...If I kept a list of all the reasons people told me for why they skip breakfast, you'd be reading this all day. We often hear breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but let's be honest... breakfast is also the first thing to go when we're running late in the morning. 

Why is skipping breakfast such a big deal? Well, studies suggest eating breakfast may enhance memory, improve cognitive ability, and help increase attention span. By jump starting your day with a decent breakfast, you can also prevent overeating at your next meal. And most importantly... breakfast [helps] keep your mood stable. Nobody wants to deal with your hangry self!

This is not me telling you to wake up early enough to cook a five course breakfast... I understand that won't happen. But I am challenging you to start your day with some good food - even if just a nibble. 

Top Four Grab-N-Go Breakfast Ideas

  1. Peanut Butter + Toast (my absolute favorite thing)
  2. Plain Yogurt + Granola
  3. Boiled Egg + Oatmeal
  4. Handful of Nuts + Fruit

Feel free to mix it up. Remember... A little something is better than a bunch of nothing!

Love,

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Four Simple Ways To Lower Diabetes Risk 

Sham

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 9.21.03 PM.png

Did you know November is American Diabetes Month? Since African Americans are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites, I think the topic deserves our attention.

There are some non-modifiable risk factors (age, ethnicity, family history) that are beyond our control. That's fine... It isn't our job to stress over things we can't change. However, there ARE a few factors that we can alter. So, let's focus on things we can do to help decrease risk of (pre)diabetes. 

Four Things To Do Right Now To Lower Diabetes Risk

1. Watch Your Weight

BMI isn't the perfect indicator, but it helps give a point of reference. Don't get overwhelmed by the amount of weight you need to lose to hit "normal range." Instead, set small monthly goals. If you can lose 5-10 percent of your body weight, you will lower your risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60%. 

2. Get Moving

Adequate activity can improve blood sugar.. and blood pressure... and cholesterol... and mood... and more.  There are so many reasons (read as: excuses) why we don't get enough activity, but it's time to figure it out. Commercial break crunches? Squats before bed? Find ways to make exercise a part of the daily routine and stick with it.

3. Focus On Food

Carbs are NOT bad! Let that myth go. Your body needs a balance of nutrients to flourish. Instead of restricting starchy foods, be intentional about adding nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats, etc). Balanced, consistent meals are one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar stable. 

4. Stop the Stress

Can high stress levels affect your blood sugar levels? ....absolutely. The term self-care is thrown around all the time when discussing mental health, but it is critical for physical health too. Make time for the activities that relieve stress and bring joy!

Click here to take the full Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test! 

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Stress Eat for What

Kamaria Mason

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Stress is a beast that is relentless. If you’re anything like me, stress eating is REAL and coupled with physical inactivity will result in real weight gain, real quick!

Here are some tips to encourage you make healthy choices and navigate the holiday stress:

  1. Enjoy your sweet indulgences responsibly. One single-serving portion of grandma's famous peach cobbler and ice cream...not half the pan! Half the pan and a pint of ice cream is several servings and several servings leads to several pounds. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the sweets, but let's keep it down to one single-serving portion a day. 
  2. Prepare your mind and stay in control. Temptation is REAL during the holiday season. Eat when you're hungry not just because food is around. If every year your family tradition is to have a large brunch followed by a large early evening dinner, make a game plan for your day. Perhaps go light on the cinnamon roll French toast in the morning so you can enjoy desert later in the day. Eat mindfully and stay in control! 
  3. Get up and BE Active. Physical activity helps not only helps you burn off the extra calories from eating large holiday meals, but it also helps improve your mood. It can be hard to do your normal exercise routine, but don't feel guilty and stress about it. Instead try to intentionally get in a few 10-15 minute sessions of activity throughout your day. Before you know it, you'll achieve 30-45 minutes!
  4. Be REAListic. Don't pressure yourself to see everyone in an 3-4 day window of time and don't feel like you have to go to every event. It's ok to say NO! If every year your aunt likes to do a cookie decorating party with your little cousins and her cookies are your weakness, maybe this year you forgo Cookiefest lol. However if you chose to participate, be sure to eat before you go and give yourself a 1-2 cookie limit!
  5. Create new ACTIVE traditions. If your usual family routine is a holiday movie marathon after dinner, change it up this year. Enjoy the movies, but fit in some time for physical activity breaks. Between each movie do a 10 minute dance break or some strength training exercises. Whatever you choose, have fun being physically active as a family!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS :D

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Finding Value In Forgotten Places

Sham

If you asked me what I feared the most, my answer would have easily been “BEES!

I did not want to hear them buzz and I could not stand to see them outside. My fear was so strong that I’d take off running if a bee came within 20 feet of me! So many times I would ask myself “Why do bees even exist?” That same sentiment persisted until one week ago.

Last week, I went outside to water my plants. I recently moved my squash pot outside because it wasn’t producing any fruit. The plant would make these big beautiful yellow flowers, but it would not form an actual squash no matter what I tried. I assumed the plant might’ve needed more direct sunlight, so I moved the pot to the porch.

Within a few days, I had squash!

I couldn’t understand what made the difference … until I walked out that morning to water my plants and noticed a huge bee frolicking around my squash blossoms. My instinct was to run (because of fear), but I paused for a moment.

I stopped long enough to see the bee pollinating my plant. I realized that my squash wasn't growing inside because there was nothing to help it cross-pollinate. Moving the pot outdoors allowed the bee to do exactly what it was designed to do.

It was clear. Bees were the only reason my baby squash started to grow, and I spent all those years questioning the existence of bees because I didn’t understand their purpose. Since bees had added no immediate value to my life, it was easy to fear them.  And that fear continued until the very thing I feared was the one thing my plants had been missing.

Beyond my fear of bees, there was a bigger life lesson I could not ignore.

Life lesson: We tend to fear the things we don’t understand, and it is time to gain some understanding. Even if you cannot see the purpose of something (or someone), it can still deserve to be appreciated and valued in some way. 

 

Love,

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Are Those Fries Worth Your Life?

Sham

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French fries have been associated with a higher risk of death. How high? Well, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports regular consumption of fries can double your risk of death. 

THE CLAIM

Those who eat fried potatoes (french fries, potato chips, hash browns, etc.) more than twice per week may be more likely to die early compared with adults who eat fried potatoes less often.

THE FACTS

Don't get it twisted. Potatoes in their natural state are very low in fat and sodium. The starchy vegetable is packed with fiber, vitamin C and many other nutrients. In fact, a potato has more potassium than a banana!

Potatoes can make a great addition to any healthful diet, but hot grease is where the trouble starts. Deep frying foods in oil adds more calories, which can contribute to undesired weight gain. Regular consumption of these oils can also boost risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Who has the time?

...But before we swear off French fries forever, it is important to note that this observational study does have limitations. People who eat a lot of fried potatoes might have other unhealthy lifestyle practices that the results do not reflect. For instance, (apart from fries) what other foods are being consumed? Is the person less likely to exercise? Do they have a family history of chronic disease? Each of these factors can impact the results!

WHAT NOW?!

An occasional fried potato splurge won't make you drop dead, but having fried foods regularly can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity and many other health problems. 

Life is short. Don't let your food choices make it even shorter! 

Love, 

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Invited to the Cookout: A Summer BBQ Survival Guide

Sham

 Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

It’s mid-summer and the cookouts are in full swing! The music is loud and the vibes are great, but can we talk about the food? I know, I know … the chicken, pasta salad, ribs, burgers, and baked beans are all equally delicious. Yet, 2 plates and 2000 calories later - you’ve completely undone any progress you made during the week. There is nothing better than enjoying beautiful weather and amazing food with friends and family, but let’s be mindful.

SIMPLE TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE COOKOUT

 

1. DON’T BE THAT PERSON

We all know the person who always shows up empty handed. Don’t be that person. Bringing a dish makes you a great guest and gives you an opportunity to contribute something nutritious to the menu. You can never go wrong with a big fruit salad, veggie kabobs, or some turkey burgers for the grill. 

2. HYDRATE

So you know those precious hours spent waiting for the food to finally come off the grill? Well, that would be a great time to keep water handy. Sipping on a few glasses of water before it's time to eat can help you feel full faster and eating less once the food is ready.

3. PICK YOUR POISON

Why would we ever pile our plate with burgers, chicken, hot dogs AND ribs? (I say we because I’ve also been guilty). Pick your cookout favorite and enjoy it. Try filling the rest of your plate with healthier side items. The same food will be at the next cookout. I promise.

 

Follow these quick cookout survival rules and live to slay another day.

 

Love,

Closed Mouths Don't Get Fed

Kamaria Mason

Often we complain about what we don't have or what someone has not done, consistently fighting disappointment and frustration. But, did you actually take a moment to ASK for what you want? Did you make your request known?

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds, and the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

See, complaining is the easy choice. Asking for what you want can feel uncomfortable at times, seeking out what you desire usually takes work, and trying something unfamiliar (i.e. knocking) requires courage. However, action is necessary to obtain what you desire. Stop complaining and start taking action. Closed mouths don't get fed!! 

Love & Blessing Always,

Brown or White... Eggs?

Sham

 Image Courtesy of Pixabay's Murtil

Image Courtesy of Pixabay's Murtil

When trying to eat healthy, many people adopt the philosophy "brown is best." We are often willing to pay a bit more for the brown rice or the whole wheat bread. But does this same principle apply to eggs?

Brown eggs definitely have a higher price tag, but are they healthier than plain white eggs? Guess again ... there is no nutritional difference between the two. The shell color of an egg is actually determined by breed of the hen. Surprised? Well, the shell color may not be the only thing misleading you. Manufacturers often place bold claims on the cartons to sway you in their direction.

Food claims that might not mean what you thought.
 

All Natural

  • When it comes to eggs, all natural (and derivatives) has no real meaning. So those “naturally raised” eggs you might be eyeing are no different than the others.

Omega-3

  • This term tells us that ingredients, such as flaxseed and fish oil, were added to hens’ feed to increase the omega-3 content of the egg. Enticing? Well, you might be better off adding those fatty acid sources directly to your diet if omega-3 is a concern.

Cage-Free

  • Eggs labeled cage-free are laid by hens allowed to roam in open space. This sounds pleasant, but the "open space" may be overly crowded with no guaranteed access to outdoors.

Organic

  • Organic eggs are from uncaged hens that have been raised according to the USDA’s National Organic Program guidelines. This means the hens are allowed open space, outdoor access, and fed an organic diet. No assurance the quality is better, but organic might be a good option if concerned about animal-welfare.

 

A hen's environment and feed can impact the quality of your eggs, but don't get distracted by the colorful claims.

 

Love,

Certainty Against All Odds

Kamaria Mason

The Scenario: Time to get my life right! Wellness Goal- I want to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks!  Week 1-3 are great!  You exercise everyday, make smarter food choices and the pounds drop off quick!! Week 4, you don't lose weight but you're not worried...still going strong. Week 5, you gain a pound...what the crap!! 

See it's the Week 5s that gets us side-tracked. We start off strong and motivated but then get into the middle of the challenge, the tough place, and we loose our certainty. Uncertainty is dangerous. Without certainty it's easy to lose focus, to get tired and quit. In Philippians, Paul makes a declaration "I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finished" (Philippians 1:6). What work has God began in you? Is it to achieve and maintain a healthy weight so that you have the energy and stamina to voluntarily serve the community? Is it to get out of debt so that you can be a financial blessing to others in need? Whatever work God has begun, be certain (definition: established without a doubt) that He will continue His work until it is finished. Use that certainty as motivation to keep fighting until the goal is accomplished! 

Make a declaration today: I am CERTAIN that God, who began the good work within me, will continue His work until it is finished!!

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Love & Blessings Always,

Fitness for The Busy Woman

Sham

There are so many things that demand our attention, work and school deadlines, family, friends, church and community events….with all that we have to do, it can be hard to find the time to get in some exercise. However, it’s important to be intentional about adding physical activity into our weekly regimen. Better sleep, less stress, stronger heart and lungs, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight…. ALL of these are benefits of  exercise! 

So, you may be thinking the benefits of exercise are great and all, but that still doesn’t solve my problem of not having enough time. Our response to that is -- get it in where you can fit it in.

Adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) OR 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (like jogging or Zumba) every week PLUS muscle strength training activities (focusing on all major muscle groups) at least two days each week. Relax... all of this doesn’t have to be done at once. You can spread it throughout the week in 15-30 minutes increments, depending on the activity. The most important thing is to MOVE MORE.

 

QUICK STRATEGIES TO FIT IN MORE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

NETFLIX & FIT

All those hours binge watching Scandal and Dear White People can be put to good use. This non-active time is a great opportunity to do some strength training and core work. Try these circuit exercises during your next streaming binge.

WALK IT OUT

Brisk walking is a great moderate-intensity aerobic activity. You can get your heart rate up and increase your lung capacity without breaking into a hard sweat and subsequently ruining your hair! We encourage you to walk at least 30 minutes each day. Remember, you don’t have to do 30 minutes all at once. Try walking for 15 minutes during your lunch break and 15 minutes after dinner, whatever you choose to do is fine, just get movin!!

 

The goal is to gradually increase your physical fitness over time. Perfection is not required for progress! 

Sowing Seeds

Sham

I've contemplated for so long, but I finally found the courage to start my first garden!

Do you know how much time it took me to get started? Well, lets calculate! I spent hours researching which foods were in season and picking the ones I would actually eat. After I decided on plants, I spent a few more hours at the store getting everything I needed. I had to pick the seeds that "felt" right, determine which soil would provide the most nutrients, and you know it took forever to find the perfect pots for my new baby garden.

I spent the money, but then it was time to invest the energy! I mixed the soil, planted the seeds, covered them carefully, watered them, and placed the pots near sunlight. I went inside feeling exhausted, but accomplished. The next day I ran outside to check my pots. I knew my seeds hadn't sprouted that quickly, but a piece of me felt like I deserved to see results based on all my effort. I saw no signs of growth, but the routine continued.... Water plants. Cover plants. Move to sunlight. Invest. Invest. Invest. There was no guarantee that my seeds would ever produce fruit. All I had was the knowledge of my investment and the faith that God would honor the investment, which was enough to keep me going.

Life Lesson 1: Immediate investment does not warrant immediate results. Continued investment, coupled with continued faith, will eventually produce life. 

After 10 days, several of my plants were actually starting to grow and I couldn't be more excited. Inside I knew that there was such a long way to go before my seeds produced the fruit I originally imagined, but something about those small sprouts validated my investment. There was something about seeing the small peeks of green that reaffirmed my faith. I suddenly realized this process might be less about food and more about life lessons.

Life Lesson 2: Do not get discouraged when you don't see the grand fruit; be thankful for the sprouts. Learn to appreciate the process. The planting, watering, sowing, and sprouting all strengthen your faith. 

I can't wait to keep you updated on the progress of my garden (and my life lessons.)

Love, 

Treat Yourself!

Kamaria Mason

Hidden in PLAIN Sight....Treat Yourself!!

At Full on Faith Nutrition we appreciate a healthy relationship with food. Every now an then, we encourage you to Treat Yourself! Enjoy and indulge, mindfully...

What do we mean by mindful indulgence?

Mindful indulgence is enjoying foods, activities, and events that bring you joy without major setbacks. Mindful indulgence is consuming food items that do not contain potentially harmful ingredients. We want you to be mindful of the sweet treats that have artificial sweeteners at the top of their ingredient list.  We LOVE Dannon® Oikos® Triple Zero Greek Yogurt! Its full flavor, protein packed and perfectly sweet with no artificial sugars. This yogurt is sweetened with Stevia leaf extract, a natural calorie-free sweetener. The next time you are in the mood for a sweet treat, indulge in our Banana Split Stuffed Strawberries!

 

Banana Split Stuffed Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1, 5.3 ounce banana cream Dannon Triple Zero Oikos Greek Yogurt
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple, well drained

Garnishes (optional) Fudge sauce (your favorite) Sprinkles Cherries

Directions:

  1. Start out with the filling. Combine Greek yogurt, banana and pineapple in a bowl.
  2. Stir until mixed completely and place the mixture in a ziploc and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut of the tops and bottoms of the strawberry so that the strawberry will stand upright.
  4. Remove the core of the strawberry.
  5. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish for about 25 seconds in the microwave and stir in butter until smooth.
  6. Dip the bottoms of each strawberry in chocolate and then in nuts.
  7. Place the dipped strawberry on parchment paper and refrigerate 5 minutes or until set.
  8. Cut a corner off of the Ziploc bag and pipe the yogurt mixture into the center of each strawberry.
  9. Top with desired garnishes (chocolate, sprinkles, cherries). Enjoy!!

Love & Blessings Always, 

Life Isn't Fair

Sham

We spent last Saturday at the 3rd Tri-City 5k Walk/Health Fair in Raleigh, NC. When we found out the tagline was "Stepping for Diabetes," you know we had to accept the invitation! The event was impactful, but there was no shortage of work to be done. Kam and I spent the day running around connecting with attendees, prepping taste testers, performing food demonstrations, and making genuine connections with community partners. After a very long day, the only thing I wanted to do was relax. We finally made it home and I was scrolling through my timeline when I came across something interesting.

I found out the CDC recently released a study comparing Racial Disparities in Age-Specific Mortality Among Blacks or African Americans in the United States from 1999–2015 (image shown below). "Death rates from heart disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus and homicide have been increasing at earlier ages among blacks than among whites." That's right.. the results show that African Americans are STILL much more likely to die at earlier ages than their white counterparts... from all causes!

After leaving an event focused around educating and encouraging our community, I couldn't help but be a bit discouraged. "Life isn't fair," I whispered to myself. But I quickly remembered that these are the reasons why Full On Faith Nutrition was started! We are here to help bridge that gap. We are here to make sure you are informed. We want nothing more than to show you how to prepare healthy meals and highlight the ways food can impact your body. There are so many factors that affect our health (finances, unemployment, inactivity, safety, knowledge, etc.) but lets get a handle on the ones we can immediately control.

Life isn't fair... but is it worth it to keep fighting? ....Absolutely

Love,

Hidden in PLAIN Sight

Kamaria Mason

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my cousin who was irritated about getting these horrible headaches after taking cough drops for a cold. See, my cousin has an aspartame allergy. Avoiding aspartame is nothing new for her, but she was frustrated because it wasn't like she drank a diet soda...this was a cough drop! So, Sham and I did some investigating to find hidden sources of artificial sugars (particularly aspartame)?


We were shocked and inspired! Since we love soo many items on the list above, we decided to create our first blog series Hidden in PLAIN Sight. Over the next few weeks we will feature tasty recipes that are low-sugar with no artificial sweeteners. 

Stay tuned... 

Liquid calories count too...

Kamaria Mason

Summer is quickly approaching and you might be anxious because.. body goals. See, the problem with spring and summer is the prevalence of delicious sugar sweetened drinks. Lemonade, sweet tea, flavored “water,”... just to name a few. Nothing is wrong with these drinks, they taste GREAT and are usually paired with some yummy high-calorie food. However, when consumed excessively (i.e. multiple servings per day - multiple days per week), it’s almost impossible to drop those extra pounds. Liquid calories are still calories.

 

Wondering about the difference between liquid calories and food calories?

Well, liquid calories are like stealth calories. Our bodies often don’t respond to them the same way they do to calories from food. With liquid calories, particularly beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, our stomach doesn’t send the same signals to our brain telling us when to stop. Hence, the stealth effect. We keep drinking and drinking, unknowingly ignoring these signals, consuming more calories than we need each day, and slowly but surely gaining pounds of stubborn fat (bye-bye beach-body!)

But what’s the alternative... diet drinks?! Most diet drinks are full of artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols, which taste gross and may cause headaches or gastrointestinal discomfort. Water is nice, but can be boring after a while...so what are you to do?

 

How to switch it up!

We came across this amazing Tropicana Tangerine Lemonade, aka heaven in a bottle! We looked at the nutrition label and saw 28 grams of sugar in each glass...NO thank you! So what do you do? ...get creative!

 

When life gives you lemons, make a Lemon-Mandarin Spritzer!!

Ingredients:

  • 1, 4-ounce cup mandarin oranges in 100% fruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 Nature Sweet packets by Whole Earth Sweetener Co.
  • 1½ cup mandarin orange seltzer water
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • 2 thin lemon slices

Directions: Separate 3-4 mandarin oranges and muddle them in bottom of a mason jar. Add lemon juice, club soda, Truvia, ice and the remaining cup of mandarin oranges with juice. Stir and garnish with lemon slices.

Different drink. Same flavor. Less calories from added sugar!  

 

Love & Blessings Always,           

 

 

Christ over Culture Podcast!

Kamaria Mason

Sham and I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Lenea, an AMAZING woman who has inspired us to pursue life, love and Christ in all that we do! So often we pursue temporary things that our culture deems supreme. Professional accolades, beautiful homes, fabulous cars, a sexy husband who will appreciate that snatched waist and the list goes on. Now, I'm not saying those things aren't important or that you should not strive to achieve greatness, but we have to remember to have a balanced perspective. This is especially important when it comes to health and wellness. All to often, we pursue physical perfection through a quick fad diet or detox cleanse, but what is that doing to our bodies? How does this yo-yo approach to weight management affect our mental and emotional health?

In order to achieve wellness, we must continually renew our minds and meditate on how we pursue "important" things. Today, we challenge you to think about what you are pursuing? Are you running yourself ragged pursuing temporary perfections or are you developing lasting lifestyle changes?  

The choice is yours....

 Listen to the Christ Over Culture podcast on

iTunes and Sound Cloud

 

Thailand Eats

Sham

If you've been anywhere near my Instagram (@Shamera_RDN), then you know I recently returned from a trip to Thailand. There are no words to accurately describe my experience. The people were engaging, the culture was powerful, the landscape was awe-inspiring... BUT THE FOOD?! Oh, Thai food has forever changed my life. Words may not do justice, but pictures always help!

Vacation Eats: Thailand Foodie Photo Blog

Early Mornings

Thailand is twelve hours ahead of EST, and the flight took 20+ hours. After about two days of jet lag, I was ready to take the breakfast scene by storm. Please know that it did NOT disappoint. (hover over picture for quick description)

 The largest veggie omelet I've ever laid eyes on. I'm sure they used at least six eggs... And I devoured every piece!

The largest veggie omelet I've ever laid eyes on. I'm sure they used at least six eggs... And I devoured every piece!

 This mango pancake was the perfect mix between a crepe and traditional pancake. The only way to elevate pancakes... fresh mango!

This mango pancake was the perfect mix between a crepe and traditional pancake. The only way to elevate pancakes... fresh mango!

 Thai baked eggs: Baked eggs with Chinese sausage, shitake mushrooms, and minced pork -  topped with fresh coriander

Thai baked eggs: Baked eggs with Chinese sausage, shitake mushrooms, and minced pork -  topped with fresh coriander

 Listen! Coconut infused pancakes served with caramelized bananas and candied cashews. SAY LESS!

Listen! Coconut infused pancakes served with caramelized bananas and candied cashews. SAY LESS!

 

Late Nights

There was no shortage of adventure! Whether we rented motor bikes, swam with elephants, or hiked to the peaks of Thailand.. the night always ended with food.

 This Thai curry pineapple fried rice tasted even better than it looks... seriously

This Thai curry pineapple fried rice tasted even better than it looks... seriously

 KA NA MHU SAB: Stir fry Thai kale with minced pork. LIFE!

KA NA MHU SAB: Stir fry Thai kale with minced pork. LIFE!

 Can you ever go wrong with stir-fry vegetables?!

Can you ever go wrong with stir-fry vegetables?!

 Already missing our group lunches prepared by locals!

Already missing our group lunches prepared by locals!

 

Long Sips

I don't typically drink juice, but I couldn't stay away during the trip. There were so many fruit stands offering fresh squeezed juice (no added sugar, no preservatives... just fruit).  How can you say no to ingredients so pure? 

 Apple - Beet - Carrot - Ginger juice to start the day.

Apple - Beet - Carrot - Ginger juice to start the day.

 I call this.... Mango In A Bottle. I wish I had a better picture, but I drank it too fast!

I call this.... Mango In A Bottle. I wish I had a better picture, but I drank it too fast!

 The most delicious mojito from Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. All hearts!

The most delicious mojito from Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. All hearts!

 

Sweet Treats

This section doesn't really need an explanation. I also didn't really know the names of the treats I ate in Thailand. But honestly... when someone says dessert I typically don't ask many questions!

 Heres my "sweet potato bite thing"

Heres my "sweet potato bite thing"

 Check these "green tea Twinkie cakes"

Check these "green tea Twinkie cakes"

 A caramel shake straight from the high heavens! Words cannot describe how this shake transported my WHOLE life!

A caramel shake straight from the high heavens! Words cannot describe how this shake transported my WHOLE life!

 

Thai Cooking Class!

I tasted so much food in Thailand, but the experience would not have been complete without learning to make a few traditional Thai dishes!

 Food prep!

Food prep!

 ...and more prep!

...and more prep!

 Hot and Sour Prawn Soup

Hot and Sour Prawn Soup

 Pad Thai

Pad Thai

 Fried Spring Rolls

Fried Spring Rolls

 Deep Fried Banana

Deep Fried Banana

 Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango

Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango

The End.

I cant wait to share my next Foodie Adventure with you!

Love,

I RISE

Kamaria Mason

A message from Juhanna Nixon (Part 1)

My journey of losing over 70 pounds and keeping the weight off was such an emotional journey and still is today.  The journey of better health,  active fitness,  and spiritual growth is a lifestyle that will never change or end. Prior to starting, I felt the need to be paired with someone to help me stay accountable which in turn caused a cycle of downward attempts because I wasn't just holding myself accountable but someone else. The more now; as I sit here writing this; I realize that I had put the other individual above me and hadn't focused on what I needed for myself. I had to learn and acknowledge that I have  to do this on my own and for my good, this is not for anyone else,  IT'S FOR ME. The only way to do that is to have God with me to help push me through this. All I do in life is for his glory.  I couldn't watch myself or allow myself to go down a road of high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, dialysis, heart problems, morbid obesity.


I had to RISE UP, above my feelings of doubt, above my compulsion to put others needs before my own. I had to face the fear of being at risk for chronic diseases, take action and fight to avoid becoming another statistic!