The leaves are falling and the temperatures are dropping. I’m ready for the cool, crisp air and soups for every meal. I even bought a pumpkin scone mix from Trader Joe’s yesterday to enjoy during General Conference weekend. Yum.
This has been a hectic week among many, but particularly so. We have spent every waking hour with our faces behind books and computer screens. It’s a really exciting life, let me tell ya. I’ve had no trouble falling asleep the past few weeks, thankfully! My body is graciously thanking me as my head hits the pillow. Work has also been slow so I’m able to get some homework done during that time.
And life goes on.
I’m really looking forward to General Conference this Saturday and Sunday. My heart is sad because of the death of many of our beloved apostles. Richard G. Scott was my absolute favorite. I don’t think I’ve felt the Spirit witness more to me than while listening to or reading his talks. He is going to be missed but is truly in a better place. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to endure the pains and struggles of living on this earth but I know that I have much more to accomplish and I am looking forward to that.
My Book of Mormon class has been truly inspiring lately. We are required to read for 30 minutes a day using different study tools our instructor provides us. He’s all about helping us becoming more engaged in studying the scriptures instead of just “reading” them. I found an amazing quote from Ezra Taft Benson that says, “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.” Doesn’t that just sound like the most remarkable thing? I can feel that the overall goal of this class is to do just that, make obedience our quest. I find that quote very inspiring and hopeful. Really, it is crucial to make this our life goal. Good stuff.
So I have to share a personal success I’ve had this week… It’s not much of one at all really, but it had me super excited! I’ve been working pretty diligently at exercising 5 days a week for the past 2 months or so and I can actually do push-ups. Ha ha! It’s almost embarrassing that I wasn’t even good at them when I played high school sports but the focuses then were never really on arm strength. Anyways, it’s exciting to see the results of diligence and hard work now and again. There is another quote that I love that I think of often. It says, “If it’s important, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” I love quotes. I think of this one when I roll out of bed at 6:45 and am yawning until I’m halfway through my morning workout. Or when it’s the end of the day and I’ve forgotten to read my scriptures. Sometimes when I’m at the grocery store and I want to buy pounds of chocolate chips but know that my body will hate me later, I remind myself. I also think about it when it’s Monday and I have mounds of homework craziness but I know that my grades are important and take work. It’s a constant battle but then all of the sudden you have accomplished something you never thought was possible and you’re changing.
OK, here are some recipes I made this week:
Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast Bars
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 bananas
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein (I used flaxseed meal instead)
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (I didn’t use these)
- 1 cup fresh organic blueberries
- ¼ cup of coconut-almond milk (or plain coconut or plain almond milk)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Line 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper, lightly grease with coconut oil
- Add all ingredients in to food processor until completely combined and wet, this may take several minutes.
- Pour into prepared pan and smooth out with off set spatula until evenly spread.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Combine ingredients in medium bowl and stir to combine.
- Removing pan from oven, spread topping evenly over and lightly press down into base.
- Bake an additional 15 minutes
*Recipe taken from A Healthy Life for Me
This really makes a great snack or quick breakfast. We ate these within 3 days.
Next. This one is one of Bryan’s favorite meals. I’m trying a different rendition of it this week. I think it might even be better!
Chopped Chicken Sesame Noodle Bowls
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (I use a fresh paste)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 ounces soba noodles
- 1 cucumber (can swap for other veggies, too)
- 3 large carrots
- 1 handful cilantro
*It sounds like a lot but once you have everything, you will make it over and over. The peanut sauce is so good!
- Sauce: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the sesame sauce except the sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Pulse until mostly smooth; stir in sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.
- Noodles: Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Chicken: Heat a large skillet with a little oil over medium heat. Cut the chicken breasts in half if they are large. Add the chicken; sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Saute until barely golden brown on the outside. Add about a third of the sesame sauce to the chicken with a little water to thin it out. It might splatter, so turn down the heat at this point and have a lid ready. Let the chicken finish cooking in the sauce for a few minutes. Remove the chicken from heat, let cool slightly, and shred.
- Veggies: Chop the veggies super-finely or put them in the food processor and get them all minced up. Drain out any excess moisture.
- Toss everything together and serve hot or cold.