Let’s Get REAL

Social media is so prevalent in our daily lives. It makes it easy to portray a certain persona or sense of perfection.

But that’s not REAL.

Real life is messy. Real life has ups and downs.

Pictures are just a snapshot of someone’s journey. Where they are now. You miss where they are coming from and where they are going. Don’t lose that perspective with others, and don’t lose that perspective in your OWN journey.

Here’s a snapshot of mine. I hope it will inspire you to embrace where you are now. See how far you’ve come. Make plans for where you want to be. Enjoy every step!

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There was a time when I wouldn’t eat cheese and ate my salads plain. A salad WITH cheese and dressing? FORGET ABOUT IT. (This particular salad has cheese, dressing, quinoa, pistachios, garbanzo beans, and dried apricots. HELLO yummy!)

I am so grateful EVERY DAY that I learned to shift my thinking. I’m not healthy based on what I take OUT of my diet, I’m healthy because of what I put in, what I FUEL my body with.

No more chasing skinny. I’m chasing muscles and strength. I want my daughters to know that food is fun, really delicious, and serves a purpose. I want them to know that strength is physical and mental. I want them to know that healthy tastes good, and so do cookies.

So here’s some real things about me.
1. I like my body. I’ve weighed much more, and even less, but being happy and feeling AMAZING means more than any number on the scale.
2. I eat chocolate. EVERY. DAY. Lots of it.
3. I want gorgeous strong leg muscles so bad, but I’m working on enjoying the journey.
4. I have really broad shoulders and get asked A LOT if I’m a swimmer. And that’s a big fat NO. I’m the slowest swimmer ever.
5. If I had 3 wishes you bet your bottom dollar one of them would be that chocolate chip cookies were a superfood.

Share your real post and tag #showmethereal #growingweisserwellness

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Famine and Hunger in Malawi-Let’s Do Something!

Last fall, Malawi, Aftica faced a terrible drought causing country wide famine. I wrote a post introducing you all to Gogo Grandmothers….the incredible ministry where I have the privilege to serve. We developed a fundraising project last year called the Joseph Project to help the Gogo and their children through the famine. So many of you were willing to help make a difference and we are so grateful for your generosity.

It’s a Fact . . .

Due to continued drought, the harvest was terrible in Malawi again this year! Our USA director reported last week, “Most Malawians rely on subsistence farming (eating only what they can grow), but the food supply situation is always precarious. 2016 is the second year in a row that they have had a poor harvest because of severe drought, and many areas are already running out of food to sustain their families.”

Malawi News . . .
The “Famine Early Warning System” shows the food crisis beginning in Malawi.

imageNear Term: Jun. – Sept. 2016 Medium Term: Oct. 2016 – Jan. 2017
Maps show the orange areas that are in a food crisis in Malawi. 3/4 of the gogos and children we work with are in these emergency areas.

Once again we are asking you to get involved, to do something that will make a significant difference in the poorest country in the world!!!

The 2016-2017 Joseph Project

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We have miraculously found a source for maize to buy and store for our gogos and the children!

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$10.00 will provide 60 pounds of maize to a gogo and the children in her care for a month. Could you and your family help meet this need for a gogo family until her next harvest in April or May 2017.

Over 2,000 gogos and thousands of children in our sponsored villages are in dire need of food, especially in the central and southern regions.

We are always working on development and sustainable programs in our villages — but there are times of crises that demand an emergency response. This is one of those times!

We have set up a special Joseph Project 2016 web page where donations can be made specifically for this maize assistance. Click here to visit this page. Let’s Do Something to help! Thank you!

imageKerry

Fit For Fall

I have been feeling the FULL FORCE of the end of Summer this past week. Nothing like a new schedule, long days, lots of crying (yes, me included), and extra stress to knock you off your A-game.

This first week was rough, and I admit my normally simple healthy eating and exercise schedule has felt the brunt of this upheaval.

So I’m putting a stop to the stress, and a START to the YES.
Yes to simple healthy routines.
Yes to better sleep.
Yes to a stronger mindset.
Yes to superfoods.
Yes to jumping ALL IN!

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you ready to START new habits and routines? Are you ready for more energy, better sleep, and a health plan that is SIMPLE?

NOW IS YOUR TIME. Don’t wait for after the holidays to get your health in order. Let’s set up those habits and routines now. Let’s get back to health and get FIT FOR FALL!!

I’m so excited to see all the lives transformed in the next 30, 60, 90 days!!! Will yours be one of them?14051673_10153828553520872_8048213621397244445_n

For more information about our Fit For Fall Challenge, or to join please email us @ weisserwomen@growingweisser.com or email Rachel directly at rachelweisser@yahoo.com

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Cleansing from the Inside Out

We have spent quite a bit of time this past year learning about wellness, clean eating and super nutrition. One component of our wellness experience has been learning about cleansing. This summer I have been learning about spiritual and emotional wellness and the process of cleansing from the inside out. The principles I have been learning start with accepting who I am and emptying out my misconceptions, selfish tendencies and pride. The inside out cleaning process for me begins with reflection, confession, includes prayer and meditation. Trials that come my way can be tools used by the hand of God to strengthen me if I am willing to refrain from asking why and ask what now. When we turn our pain over to God he can redeem it and turn it into something good for our character development.
I must be willing to take a long hard look at my life, my attitudes, my thoughts and the ways I respond to the circumstances and relationships in my life. When I see areas that need to be cleaned up, thoughts and actions that need to be changed, I confess my shortcomings and where I miss the mark. I ask for forgiveness and know that I am truly forgiven and will have access to the Holy Spirit power I need to continue my inside out cleaning. Only then am I able to be filled with the truths and tenements of my faith that motivate me and empower me to change. When I am filled, I can begin to pour out….serve, love beyond measure, put other’s needs before my own and be available to follow where God may lead me. This is not a check list or a fail safe formula but for me it is a reminder to live moment by moment yielding my stubborn selfish will to God’s will for my life. It means being a good listener, finding joy in tough situations, and choosing to love even the irregular or difficult people in my life that often don’t behave in a way that I want or expect. Love is action and I want to be filled with love at all times, the unconditional kind of love that comes from God. I want to be a warrior ready to take action, to serve and pour out God’s love on others.
One desire I have as I tackle my inside out cleaning is the discipline of intention. I want my life to make an impact. I want to build relationships and be an encourager. I want to be an example that others want to follow. I want to be a servant leader. As a mom and now a Gammie blessed with 9 grandchildren, I have precious children to love and a deep desire to be a role model to them. I want to pass on my love for God and teach them about Jesus.

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Kerry Signature48

Greek High Protein Salad

Bethany and Mike have been blessed to receive many delicious meals since baby Garrett was born a few weeks ago. This was one of their favorites. Last week, Bethany and I tried to recreate the recipe, making a few adjustments to increase the protein and we added some fresh basil. The original recipe that we adapted was from www.thelemonbowl.com- Brown Rice Greek Salad. We substituted quinoa for the brown rice and added seasoned browned ground turkey to increase the protein.

Ingredients
1 ½ cup quinoa
3 cups water
1 ½ pounds ground turkey
2 cloves garlic smashed
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons greek seasoning
2 cucumbers peeled and chopped
2 can garbanzo beans
1 cup sliced scallions
1 or 2 large yellow or orange pepper chopped
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup kalamata olives
2 cups cherry tomatoes
10 basil leaves chopped fine
¼ cup chopped mint

Dressing
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons juiced
zest of 2 lemons
2 Tablespoons oregano
2 Tablespoons chopped mint
4 cloves garlic

Cook quinoa in water. Bring to a boil and then turn to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Allow to cool. Brown ground turkey with smashed garlic, garlic salt, oregano and greek seasoning. While quinoa is cooking and ground turkey is browning, cut the cucumbers, slice scallions, chop the pepper, chop basil and mint and slice cherry tomatoes in half. Make dressing by combining all ingredients and set aside. When quinoa is cooled, add cucumbers, peppers, scallions, cherry tomatoes, feta, olives, basil and mint. Stir in dressing. Add cooled browned ground beef and stir until dressing is mixed throughout. Refrigerate and serve with pita bread and hummus.

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Greek High Protein Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A fun high protein greek style salad.
Author:
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Greek/Mediterranean
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons greek seasoning
  • 2 cucumbers peeled and chopped
  • 2 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 or 2 large yellow or orange pepper chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup kalamata olives
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 10 basil leaves chopped fine
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • Dressing
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped mint
  • 4 cloves garlic
Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa in water. Bring to a boil and then turn to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Allow to cool.
  2. Brown ground turkey with smashed garlic, garlic salt, oregano and greek seasoning.
  3. While quinoa is cooking and ground turkey is browning, cut the cucumbers, slice scallions, chop the pepper, chop basil and mint and slice cherry tomatoes in half.
  4. Make dressing by combining all ingredients and set aside.
  5. When quinoa is cooled, add cucumbers, peppers, scallions, cherry tomatoes, feta, olives, basil and mint. Mix well.
  6. Stir in dressing.
  7. Add cooled browned ground beef and stir until dressing is mixed throughout.
  8. Refrigerate and serve with pita bread and hummus.

What ingredients do you like to mix together in your summer salad?
Kerry Signature48Bethany Signature48

Decisions and Trust

This week I sent my first baby to school. I cannot believe this day has come already! With lots of praying and trust (and lots of moments of doubt) we started her at our amazing local public school. She has been so excited to go to school and I know this will be an amazing time of change and challenge for her.

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We debated for a long time what to do – homeschool, charter, public? As a credentialed teacher I really wanted to homeschool. I loved the idea of designing our own learning schedule and days and thought of all the fun we would have. (Of course I tried not to think too hard about all the work I would have to do!) She was very adamant that she wanted to go to school. I really loved one of our local charters, but would have to drive for drop off and pick up every day. I decided it would be best for our family this year to have the option to walk her to school and walk to pick her up.

I think it is that way with most things. We have to make a decision that is best for our family and trust in that choice. Although I still have moments of doubt, there have been so many reassurances that this is God’s plan. A friend’s daughter is in Ellie’s class, which has meant a built-in instant friend! We’ve walked to and from school together and it has been great to have someone to talk to about all my fears and hesitations and know someone else went through the exact same thing! Ellie has an amazing teacher– ok I’m sure EVERYONE thinks their teacher is the best, but it was really cool to have a parent speak up about how BLESSED we all were to have this teacher! I’ve seen a lot of other families that I respect have the same battle with homeschool vs. charter vs. public school yet they have all chosen to send their kids to this same school. That says a lot about the school and about the community!

I am so excited to see how this year unfolds!

Have you sent a child to school for the first time? How did you find comfort knowing you made the right decision for your family?

Rach Signature48

Plum Chutney

Chutney is a sauce in the cuisines of India that can vary from a tomato relish to a ground peanut garnish or a yoghurt, cucumber and mint dip. Chutney that I made with my mom when I was growing up was usually made of a tart fruit such as apples, apricots, mangos or plums. Our homemade recipe differed a bit from the typical Indian chutney recipe. As the Americanized version of chutney was developed, sugar and vinegar were added to the recipe to keep the sweet and sour flavor but to give a longer shelf life so that fall fruit could be preserved for use throughout the year (as are jams, jellies and pickles). Indian chutney uses mustard oil as a pickling agent, but Anglo-Indian style chutney use cider vinegar which produces a milder product.

Ingredients
5 cups cut up plums (you can use apricots, mangos or apples)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
¾ cup vinegar
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons mustard seed
2-3 big cloves garlic
¼ cup thinly sliced yellow onion
½ cup chopped candied ginger
1 cup white raisins

Mix the sugars and vinegar in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the fruit and all the spices, garlic, onions, ginger and raisins. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently so chutney will not stick as it cooks and thickens. This step may take 1 to 1 ½ hours depending on how juicy your fruit is. When thickened, pour chutney into jelly jars that have been sterilized and seal according to canning directions.
I pour the hot chutney into the 1 cup jars and seal with hot tops. I tighten the tops and turn the jars upside down for 30 minutes. When you flip them right side up the lids should seal on their own.FullSizeRender-3

We love to serve our chutney with Indian food, vegetarian curry and many different meat dishes.FullSizeRender-4

What is your favorite condiment to add some pizzaz to your meals?

Kerry Signature48

High Protein, High Fiber Oat Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

When you are a nursing mom and your baby starts to wiggle and grow, sleep through the night and seems to want/need more breast milk…..this delicious cookie may just do the trick.They are easy to make and can be stored in the freezer for a quick nutritious treat. Remember to use Brewer’s yeast and NOT nutritional yeast.  This delicious lactation cookie recipe is similar to the other one we tried but uses whole wheat flour for more fiber and has extra protein with the addition of more peanut butter to the dough. You can and an extra bit of fiber by adding raisins. Watch out because your husband and other family members will be sneaking these when you are not looking they are that delicious. For more information on herbs and nutritional supplements that can improve your milk supply if you are a nursing mama click here. Here are two other recipes that we have tried-one a bar and one a cookie and we also added brewer’s yeast to our favorite bran muffin recipe.

Ingredients
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons of flax seed meal
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups of whole oats (not instant or quick oats)
1 ½ cups chocolate chip
½-1 cup raisins optional
4 Tablespoons Brewer’s Yeast (NOT nutritional yeast)
½ cup peanut butter (we used Trader Joe’s natural)

Stir the flax seed meal and water together in a small bowl. Blend butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and add vanilla and blend until fluffy. Measure flour, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and pour into mixer. Blend on medium speed until mixed thoroughly. Add oats and flax seed dissolved in water, peanut butter and brewer’s yeast and mix until all is combined. Stir in chocolate chips and raisins. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets at least one inch apart. Bake 12-15 minutes until edges are done. Center of cookie may seem a bit moist but you do not want to overcook the cookies.
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Nursing moms-what other things have you done to increase your milk supply?

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Colorful Summer Salad

Today is another beautiful summer day and I am out tending my vegetable garden. In comes another bowl of tomatoes and I decided I wanted to try a summer salad recipe that would be a fun side dish to accompany any BBQ meat or could be eaten as your main meal. I know many of you have made Cowboy Caviar and I love that recipe but my hubby does not like avocado. He does LOVE salsa though so I made this colorful summer salad based on our homemade salsa recipe with a few variations.

Ingredients
8 medium tomatoes (I used 4 different types of heirloom tomatoes)
1 large red onion
2 ears of corn
1 large orange pepper
2 bunches cilantro (1-2 cups)
1 hot jalapeño pepper
1 mild jalapeño pepper
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
½ cup red wine vinegar
⅓ cup olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic smashed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sesoned pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon Pilarcita’s hot and spicy Mexican spice blend (this blend has chili peppers, salt, garlic, onion, lemon and orange peel as it’s base)

Chop the tomatoes, onion, orange pepper and mix in a bowl. Dice the jalapeño peppers and chop the cilantro fine and add to the bowl. Add the drained and rinsed black beans and stir salad. In a small bowl, mix oil, vinegar, garlic and spices. Mix well and pour over the vegetables. Stir well and refrigerate for an hour or so before serving. This is a great salad to take to a potluck BBQ because it make a large bowlful of a beautiful colorful summer salad. Will store for 4-5 days in a tupperware container. If you want to serve it for your main meal, you can put on a bed of greens and serve with warm tortillas or your favorite tortilla chips. If you are an avocado lover, like I am, cut up a ripe avocado and add to your salad. FullSizeRender

Colorful Summer Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This is a great salad to take to a potluck BBQ because it make a large bowlful of a beautiful colorful summer salad.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 8 medium tomatoes (I used 4 different types of heirloom tomatoes)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 large orange pepper
  • 2 bunches cilantro (1-2 cups)
  • 1 hot jalapeño pepper
  • 1 mild jalapeño pepper
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesoned pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Pilarcita's hot and spicy Mexican spice blend (this blend has chili peppers, salt, garlic, onion, lemon and orange peel as it's base)
Instructions
  1. Chop the tomatoes, onion, orange pepper and mix in a bowl.
  2. Dice the jalapeño peppers and chop the cilantro fine and add to the bowl.
  3. Add the drained and rinsed black beans and stir salad. In a small bowl, mix oil, vinegar, garlic and spices.
  4. Mix well and pour over the vegetables.
  5. Stir well and refrigerate for an hour or so before serving.
  6. Will store for 4-5 days in a tupperware container.
  7. If you want to serve it for your main meal, you can put on a bed of greens and serve with warm tortillas or your favorite tortilla chips.
  8. If you are an avocado lover, like I am, cut up a ripe avocado and add to your salad.

What is your favorite summer salad?

Kerry Signature48

Do Something Today

Back to School season is coming (too early!!) and that is a great time to start great habits!

One area most of us can always improve is our ACTION. Acting on things that need to be done and stop procrastinating.

I admit there are SO many things I save for “tomorrow” or “when I feel like it.” But those things pile up and weigh you down and that isn’t a good feeling. Doesn’t it feel so much better to accomplish things?!

So here’s a thought – Do ONE thing every day to make tomorrow better. Eat a healthy meal, get to bed on time, fold that laundry, clean that spot in the fridge that has been bugging you. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING, but even just one little thing that you accomplish will make for a better tomorrow.

You know what is even better? Consistently doing those little things – eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, cleaning, preparing and packing your own food to save money – will start to have a BIG impact on your life.

And it all starts with ONE thing.

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What have you been procrastinating about? What is one thing you can do today for a better tomorrow?

Rach Signature48