Get Stepping!

This week in our Summer Sizzle challenge we are focusing on tracking our steps.

Tracking your steps is a great way to keep yourself active and motivated to move your body. Setting a daily goal reminds you to move around and look for opportunities to “Get Stepping.”

It can be as simple as parking your car a little further away from the store, taking the stair instead of the elevator. For you moms, play WITH your kids instead of watching. Make plans with friends to go walking or hiking. Listen to podcasts while you walk to fill your mind with positive and uplifting things or to learn new information. Walk around when you are on the phone (this is one of my favorites!).

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Photo by Amy Golding

Most of the members in our family use a FitBit to track their steps. This is nice because it syncs with your phone so you don’t have to have your phone with you to track your steps. The new iPhones come with a health app that automatically tracks your steps, but only when you are moving WITH your phone. My husband uses this app to track his steps on his work day because he keeps his phone on his belt attachment. I use Map My Run on my run days to track mileage and I like that it shows you your route and gives you updates every mile!

Whatever app or step tracker you use, I love the idea of staying motivated to move your body.

RachelS-Family-Amy-Golding-Murrieta-Photographer-Temecula-Southern-California-Dayinthelife-Pictures-Family-86

Photo by Amy Golding

RachelS-Family-Amy-Golding-Murrieta-Photographer-Temecula-Southern-California-Dayinthelife-Pictures-Family-87

Photo by Amy Golding

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

How do you track your steps? What is your daily goal?

Rach Signature48

Great summer dessert: Blonde Brownies

I love to bake. Growing up, we always had baked goods ready for guests and parties. Besides the famous “Weisser Cookies”, blonde brownies were the other favorite from the renowned Baby Bear Stew Cookbook, sold on our website. But for now, we will let you in on a Baby Bear Stew specialty. So here is another one of the family favorites.

Blonde Brownies

Blonde Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup melted margarine
  • 2¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2¾ cup flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional
  • 1½ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. I love to bake. Growing up, we always had baked goods ready for guests and parties. Besides the famous "Weisser Cookies", blonde brownies were the other favorite from the renowned Baby Bear Stew Cookbook. (Baby Bear Stew will be sold here soon). But for now, we will let you in on a Baby Bear Stew specialty. So here is another one of the family favorites.
  2. Blonde Brownies
  3. photo 2
  4. Ingredients:
  5. /3 cup melted margarine
  6. /4 cup brown sugar
  7. eggs
  8. /4 cup flour
  9. /2 tsp baking powder
  10. /2 tsp salt
  11. cup chopped nuts (optional
  12. /2 cup chocolate chips
  13. Directions:
  14. Grease a 9x13 pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  15. Melt the butter
  16. Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar
  17. Add the eggs
  18. Sift dry ingredients and add. Stir until well blended
  19. Add the chocolate chips and nuts.
  20. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cut into squares like brownies.photo 1
  21. Bethany Signature48

 


photo 1

 

Bethany Signature48

Be The Person…..

Wondering how I would fit writing a blog post into this already very BUSY day…..I quickly glanced at my Facebook to see if a friend’s granddaughter had been born yet and saw on her wall this incredibly inspiring quote from one of my favorite authors…….Jennie Allen.FullSizeRender-6

Here are Jennie’s words that prompted this beautiful artwork that she posted. “I hear from so many of you that you wish you had deeper relationships or more encouragement in your life or people who made you love Jesus more. Guess what team– we are it! We need to be the good friends, the mentors, the dream releasers, the cheerleaders! (Thanks @embersherman for the art.) Who has been that for you? Now it’s your turn. Ask someone to coffee and go be the person you wish was sitting across from you.”

Today I had the privilege of attending two events with incredible women. The first was a summer bible study with about 20 women in my community that want to share time together and grow in their walk of faith. Some of these women are long time friends and some of them are new friends. All of these gals are women I would trust with my heart, women who are wise and would be willing to listen to my story and be a faithful and true kind of friend. The second event was a gathering of friends who have known each other for over 20 years. We have celebrated major life events together-having babies, raising children, attending graduations, planning weddings and welcoming grand babies. We have cried together and felt compassion for one another during times of stress, loss and hard life circumstances. We have walked together through conflict and sorrow. We have protected one another, served together, worked on projects together and grown together in our faith. Deep relationships take time. Both of these groups of women filled with friends old and new are the hands and feet of Jesus to me. They bring me encouragement when I am struggling. They challenge me to take risks. They cheer me on when I am stepping out to try new things. They are the women who push me to grow in my walk with Jesus. They are my prayer warriors. They are my forever friends.

Women long for fellowship and belonging. We long for significance and purpose. We are relational beings and we desire connection and deep relationships that are meaningful. Our joy, contentment and happiness seems to come more consistently when we focus on BEING that kind of person that we long to have as our friend. Happiness is what we pray for….FRIENDS are God’s answer. So let’s “Be the Person you Wish was Sitting Across from You”. Be an active listener, ask deep questions, share God’s wisdom. Be a cheerleader and an encourager. Be a servant leader for those you know and see what opportunities God opens up for  friendship, mentoring and serving together. Get out there and find people who are longing to grow. Take Jennie Allen’s challenge to Be the Person you Wish was sitting Across from you!!!

Here are some resources that might be helpful for you.  Jennie Allen has written some fantastic books and she has an online community called the IF Gathering.


 

Kerry Signature48

Zucchini Stuffed Quinoa Boats

Summer is here and if you have planted a vegetable garden you may be harvesting the first crop of zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. FullSizeRender-4Here is a delicious way to serve zucchini. These stuffed zucchini quinoa boats can be your side dish with turkey burgers or chicken on the grill or you can eat them as your main dish because they are packed with protein and veggies.

Ingredients
6 medium zucchini (3 large zucchini forgotten in the garden for a few days)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic smashed
1 onion finely diced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper finely diced
2 roma tomatoes or 1 large tomato chopped
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 sprigs of fresh thyme chopped fine (2 teaspoons dried thyme)
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
4 basil leaves chopped
3 cups cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)
½ cup grated parmesan
½ cup grated mozzarella
¼ cup pine nuts

Wash and cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the center portion of each half zucchini and dice up what you have scooped out.FullSizeRender-3 Saute garlic and onions in olive oil. Add peppers, tomatoes and chopped zucchini and stir until all vegetables are soft. Add thyme, salt, pepper, chopped spinach and basil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add cooked quinoa and parmesan cheese and stir until blended.FullSizeRender-5FullSizeRender-2Fill zucchini boats full of the quinoa mixture and sprinkle pine nuts on top. FullSizeRender-1Bake in 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your zucchini. Sprinkle grated or sliced mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 5 minutes more until cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!!!FullSizeRender

Zucchini Stuffed Quinoa Boats
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious and nutritious way to use up the vegetables that are growing in your garden. Or a simple summer meal with vegetables and protein packed into one!
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 6 medium zucchini (3 large zucchini forgotten in the garden for a few days)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper finely diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes or 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme chopped fine (2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 basil leaves chopped
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the center portion of each half zucchini and dice up what you have scooped out.
  2. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil.
  3. Add peppers, tomatoes and chopped zucchini and stir until all vegetables are soft.
  4. Add thyme, salt, pepper, chopped spinach and basil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add cooked quinoa and parmesan cheese and stir until blended.
  6. Fill zucchini boats full of the quinoa mixture and sprinkle pine nuts on top.
  7. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your zucchini.
  8. Sprinkle grated or sliced mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 5 minutes more until cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!!!

Kerry Signature48

Water Challenge

How do you like to drink your water?

This week in our Summer Sizzle group we challenged everyone to share their favorite ways to get their daily water intake in.

Every since I was pregnant I’ve loved to drink my water with added electrolytes for flavor and extra hydration. I also needed the extra hydration while breastfeeding. I was ALWAYS drinking water. Although I’m no longer pregnant or breastfeeding I still make sure to drink lots of water because proper hydration is key for good health!

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Staying hydrated to teach my Fit4Mom class!

How much water should you drink?

Although there is no “one-size fits all” approach to how much water you should drink, a general rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink 50 ounces of water per day. Of course this will vary based on your activity level, the temperature, and if you are a pregnant or breastfeeding mama.

What are the benefits of drinking adequate amounts of water?

Water definitely plays an important role in health. I know personally I am easily prone to headaches when I get dehydrated. Drinking water can help prevent and counteract overeating. Sometimes what we mistake for hunger cues are actually thirst cues. So if it isn’t time for a meal, or you aren’t sure if you are hungry, it is best to drink a nice big glass of water and see how that makes you feel first!

A properly hydrated body also burns more calories than a dehydrated body. So embrace the cup and get your water on for optimal calorie burn!!

And don’t forget the importance of eating your water! Water-dense fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, bell peppers, and watermelon can also contribute to optimal hydration.

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Staying hydrated on a hot day. I like to add a few ice cubes to my Thermos water bottle.

If you have a favorite way to drink your water OR a favorite water bottle please share in the comments!

Rach Signature48

Joy, Contentment, Happiness-a Mindset Change

Joy, contentment and happiness are three words that get all mixed up in our culture today. In a book I am reading, written by Shelia Wray Gregoire she defines the three words…… “Joy is an emotion that looks upward, contentment is an emotion that looks inward and happiness is an emotion that looks outward. Joy says, ‘How great is our God!’ Contentment says, ‘It is well with my soul.’ And happiness says ‘What a wonderful _______________I have!’ (You fill in the blank…….life, job, husband, wife, friend-something tangible and outside of oneself.) C.S. Lewis writes “Joy is like experiencing a flash of heaven, almost a ‘stab’ where the clouds are rolled back for a split second and your heart expands and you feel God. It’s momentous, and it’s big. Happiness, on the other hand, is small and rooted in circumstances here on earth.” The apostle Paul writes about contentment in the book of Philippians, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:11-13

Joy and contentment are my goals in my life and in my relationships with others. Happiness is dependent on my outward circumstances and is influenced by how I react or respond to the ever changing situations or people around me. If I focus on my happiness and if my purpose is to ensure that my emotional well being is paramount, I will stay true to my feelings but I won’t be true to anyone else. Gods main purpose for me is to be conformed to The image of His Son, Jesus. One of the Old Testament prophets, Micah says, “He has shown you O man, what is good. And what the Lord requires of you. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

This is the purpose of my life…to do what’s right (focus on justice); to love mercy (focus on grace) and to pursue a relationship with God. And this is how I want to pursue every relationship-casual friendships, deep friendships and especially my marriage.

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In the book I am reading, 9 Thoughts that can Change your Marriage, Shelia Wray Gregoire writes in the chapter titled My Husband Was Not Put on This Earth to Make Me Happy………”Your marriage is not about happiness; your marriage is about both of you looking more and more like Jesus every day as you both do what is right. You’ll demonstrate mercy, forgiving each other as Christ forgave you. You’ll shower blessings on each other. But you’ll also stand up for justice, believing that looking like Jesus means that you stand for truth. When you do that, it’s quite likely that you’ll find happiness too.”

This book has been challenging me to spend more time praying for my husband, appreciating the little things he does for me and looking for the ways he goes out of his way to bless my life. I have been focusing on my own thinking and nurturing my own relationship with God by following some of the recommended action steps. The best thing I am learning is that my contentment is a beautiful gift that I can give to my husband.

“Trusting God instead of another to meet your needs might be the most enduring security-producing choice you ever make.” (Shanti Feldhahn)

Kerry Signature48

 

THERE IS NO TRY

This week we launched into our 60 day summer sizzle challenge with almost 80 participants!! 80 people ready and willing to make positive changes in their life. We know we have a big job to do, so we started with the most important thing to make lasting changes – MINDSET.

Mindset is so important for success in anything. You can’t just TRY to do something. The harder you try to do something the less likely you are going to create something new. You’ll just stay where you are.

A wise Jedi named Yoda once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

In order to change your mindset you have to ask yourself:

“What’s the image I carry in my mind? How do I see myself?”

If you see yourself as anything less than the beautiful and perfect creation of God, you won’t succeed. You have to KNOW and tell yourself constantly that you are His. That HE made you. That you are enough.

“What you focus on you find.

What you focus on grows.

What you focus on seems real.

What you focus on you become.” -Rod Hairston

What do you focus on? What thoughts do you allow into your mind?

You ARE what you say you ARE. You need to speak LIFE into your LIFE.

Here’s my challenge: Pick one negative thing you are telling yourself or one thing you are convinced you can’t do. Now ERASE that one thing from your thoughts. It is gone forever and never allowed back. Replace that space with an affirmation that reminds you YOU ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE, that you are worth it, you are enough, you CAN.

If you want to join us in the mindset shift, take a picture of yourself holding your affirmation and post it on Facebook or Instagram. Tag us @growingweisser and use the hashtag #healthymindandbody

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Looking forward to seeing your affirmations!

Rach Signature48

Pure Joy!

Picture from http://img.lum.dolimg.com/v1/images/au_rich_bio_insideout_joy_457a1147.jpeg?region=0,0,1536,720&width=1200

Joy.  What does that mean to you?  Is your first thought happiness? Or does it go beyond that to you?  Is it based on circumstance, or is it a deep rooted foundation?  Is it a feeling, or is it a state of being? Is it something you think about often, or is it a fleeting consideration?

I think the topic of joy is a wonderful, but sometimes overwhelming topic of discussion.  To me, joy is so beyond just a situation or a feeling.  It is a deep rooted place where you have an understanding of your purpose and pursuit in your life.  It isn’t always evident on your face or in your actions, but it exudes in a peace of knowing that everything is going to be okay.  And even if it doesn’t seem or look okay for a little bit, for me, I know there is a reason for everything.  Whether that is to challenge me, grow me in a certain area, test my faith, or fill me up, I have a certainty in something bigger than just my happiness. Being happy is great, but that won’t last.  Happiness is an emotion.  It is a great one.  But it’s hard to feel happy when you feel like your world is crashing down.  But you can be filled with joy, even in times of sorrow or despair.  Joy is a belief in restoration, in other people, in yourself.  

Where does your joy come from?  What fills you up?  What gives you energy and leaves you feeling on top of the world?  

At the root of it, my joy is from the Lord.  But joy can be spurred on by other people, by encouraging words, by generosity, by love.  But it isn’t only receiving in which I feel joy.  I feel joy in giving of myself, in surrendering my life to my bigger purpose, in putting others before me, in unexpected kindness.  but that takes me realizing that I am filled so that I can overflow.  Joy is right there just waiting to be unwrapped so that it can bless so many others.  Too often people just want to be happy, but there is so much more.

There are times in our lives where we focus on the negative.  But there is always a glimpse of hope or light if you look hard enough.  Think about when one of your kids makes you so angry you don’t even know what to do with them… Then all the sudden they do something in that about to burst moment that makes you smile, laugh, or take a step back and stop your reaction.  They remind you that even in the midst of something crazy, you still love them.  They still bring you so much joy.  So while they may need to be disciplined, they may need to be put on time out, they may need an attitude adjustment, do it out of love.  Because they are a source of pure joy. So while the moment may not be happy, there is something more.

The greek word for joy is chara.  Chara actually means celebrate.  So don’t just live in a joyful state and recognize the feeling of joy… CELEBRATE IT!

  • How can you fill your life with more joy?
  • How can you bring joy to others?
  • What in your life now do you need to recognize that brings you joy?

Bethany Signature60

Zoodles and Roasted Veggies

I have such a wonderful support system for healthy eating and you will be learning all about some fun ways to find creative and healthy meals to try in the next few weeks. I love staying in touch with friends who like to cook and are willing to try creative vegetarian meals. Suzanne is one of those girls that is always looking for new ways to creative delicious and nutritious meals. She is on our team for the Summer Sizzle 60 day challenge and she shared this recipe with me. I am adding my own flair and a few more vegetables but the basic recipe was shared with me by Suzanne.

Ingredients
5 Roma tomatoes
1 large head cauliflower
1 bunch zucchini
2-3 cloves garlic smashed
3-4 large zucchini
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 teaspoons liquid aminos (about 8-10 sprays)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1-2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1-2 teaspoon thyme
1-2 teaspoon rosemary
1-2 teaspoon basil
1-2 cups cooked quinoa

Preheat oven to 400. Slice tomatoes ¼ inch thick and spread slices on a large baking sheet covered with foil. season with salt, pepper, thyme, basil and rosemary. Cut cauliflower into small pieces, wash and spread in a single layer on a separate cookie sheet covered with foil. Spray with liquid amines and season with garlic salt, seasoned pepper and some thyme, basil and rosemary. Roast the tomatoes for 25 minutes until starting to look dry. Roast the cauliflower for 30 minutes until a bit brown and fork tender. FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender-2Wash and cut asparagus into bite sized pieces and set aside. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles using a special peeler or spiralizer. Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic. Add asparagus and sauté until just barely tender. Remove from pan and place zoodles into olive oil pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring the entire time.FullSizeRender-3 Remove from pan and add pine nuts to pan. Stir pine nuts around until brown. FullSizeRender-5Layer a scoop of warm quinoa onto your plates and then the zoodles and then layer with a generous amount of asparagus, cauliflower and roasted tomatoes. FullSizeRender-7FullSizeRender-6FullSizeRender-4 Sprinkle pine nuts on top and serve!!!!

Zoodles and Roasted Veggies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Here's a fabulous healthy vegetarian dish that will thrill all your guests. You can prep all the roasted vegetables before hand and then reheat and assemble when ready to serve.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 5 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 bunch zucchini
  • 2-3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 3-4 large zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons Braggs liquid aminos (about 8-10 sprays)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1-2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1-2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1-2 teaspoon basil
  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Slice tomatoes ¼ inch thick and spread slices on a large baking sheet covered with foil.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, basil and rosemary.
  4. Cut cauliflower into small pieces, wash and spread in a single layer on a separate cookie sheet covered with foil.
  5. Spray with liquid aminos and season with garlic salt, seasoned pepper and some thyme, basil and rosemary.
  6. Roast the tomatoes for 25 minutes until starting to look dry.
  7. Roast the cauliflower for 30 minutes until a bit brown and fork tender.
  8. Wash and cut asparagus into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  9. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles using a special peeler or spiralizer.
  10. Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic.
  11. Add asparagus and sauté until just barely tender.
  12. Remove from pan and place zoodles into olive oil pan.
  13. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring the entire time.
  14. Remove from pan and add pine nuts to pan. Stir pine nuts around until brown.
  15. Layer a scoop of warm quinoa onto your plates and then the zoodles and then layer with a generous amount of asparagus, cauliflower and roasted tomatoes.

 

What are your favorite Summer meals that are packed with nutritious goodness?

Kerry Signature48

 

Getting our Kitchen Ready for the Summer Sizzle-Creative Casserole Idea

Our Summer Sizzle 60 day challenge begins today. I decided to get my kitchen ready to support our family goals and the first step was to take inventory of what I have in my refrigerator…

1) Toss out all expired sauces, dressings, condiments, yogurts etc.
2) Give away or put into the freezer any foods that do not support your fitness and health goals.
3) Make a list of all the foods you need/want in your refrigerator and pantry and head out to your favorite store (Trader Joe’s for me) to stock your shelves.
4) Wash and cut up vegetables for quick snacks.
5) Wash, cut up and roast any vegetables you will be using in recipes for the week-so much easier to do ahead of time for quicker meal prep in the evenings.
6) Wash and dry all greens and store in an airtight container for easy add-ins for shakes or for salads.
7) You can also make Green Cubes if you have trouble keeping your greens from wilting and spoiling.
Stock up on frozen fruits and fresh fruits for snacks and smoothies.
8) Plan some healthy main dishes that can be made ahead in case you have a busy day full of summer fun.
9) The last thing I did was try to make sure I was not wasting any of the left-overs I had from the weekend so I got creative and put together a healthy Mexican casserole that can feed us for a few meals this week.

Here is what I had on hand that need to be used up: LOTS of homemade salsa, BBQ corn, browned and seasoned ground turkey, shredded chicken, fajita vegetables, tortillas and grated cheese. So instead of serving up a make your own burrito bar as I had done 2 nights ago….I put together a Mexican casserole filled with fajita veggies.

DIY Mexican Casserole
2 cups seasoned ground Turkey
2 cups shredded seasoned chicken
2-3 cups salsa ( I had homemade but you can use store bought)
3 ears bbq corn cut off the cob
2 cups grated cheddar
1 can black beans drained and rinsed (I pulled these from my pantry)
12 or more corn tortillas
2 cups fajita veggies steamed or roasted

I grabbed all of these containers from the refrigerator, opened a can of black beans and began stacking the ingredients…..a bit of salsa, tortillas to cover the bottom of a 9×13, then covered the tortillas with half the corn, beans, veggies, ground turkey on one half of the casserole dish and chicken on the other, then the cheese and more salsa. I layered two times ending with tortillas, the last of the salsa and cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Viola, we have 2 or 3 nights of dinner ready to go.
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Get ready to Sizzle this Summer!
Kerry Signature48