14 Aug 2017

Do we honor God with idols?

Deuteronomy 5:7-10  You shall have no other gods before Me or besides Me. You shall not make for yourself (to worship) a graven image or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, and showing mercy and steadfast love to thousands and to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

The very first commandment God gave Moses in the desert was to not have any other gods except for the one true living God. He also said to not make for ourselves any graven image to worship nor should you bow down and serve them.

Strong’s Concordance defines graven images as an idol or image. We live in a world that violates the first commandment every minute of every day. For example, what’s the first thing we look at in the morning? Our Instagram or Facebook account? Our email? Do we turn on TV or the radio before we’ve even thought about sitting down to spend time with God? And what about what we see on our social media platforms, magazines, TV? We seem to idolize anyone who has a flat stomach, thin thighs, big muscles, etc. There is a reason why supermodels are speaking out against their bodies being airbrushed to get rid of all the “blemishes” and why actresses are giving scathing retorts to body shamers. Sadly we, as a society, worship everything but God.

Regarding our health and without even realizing it, we get sucked into idolizing the same thing and we justify it by quoting 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that says our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and we should honor God with our bodies. Conversely, we skip working on our relationship with God, which gives us the proper perspective and should be the first step to health. We instead go straight to working on our bodies and hoping God approves.

The other end of the spectrum is that we “honor God” by eating food causing us to be riddled with the effects of obesity and inactivity. I’ve heard it before, “God made food for us to enjoy and I’m enjoying it! That’s totally honoring God!” Again, who or what is your idol?

God yearns to help you be healthy, but not at the expense of losing out on a relationship with Him. He wants to and is waiting to show you mercy and steadfast love for you and a thousand generations after you, but you must love Him and keep His commandments first. It’s amazing what happens when you are in a growing relationship with God. You no longer care about the idols the world says we have to look like. You instead care about taking care of the gifts God has given you – the gift of life, health, family, etc. He helps give you a healthy mindset and perspective.

Prayer starter: Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for falling into the world’s mindset and not making you a priority in every area of my life. God please change my thinking to care about what You think! My sole purpose is to bring honor and glory to You. Thank you Lord!

17 Jan 2017

Vegan Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Vegan Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

My daughters really enjoy these vegan blueberry muffins! They are so easy to make that it’s hard to not make them everyday. (Like all things, too much of a good thing is still too much.)

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats*
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond, soy, etc.
2 Tbspn unsweetened applesauce
¼ – 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbspn coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
¾ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen


1 Combine oats and milk in a large bowl. Cover and let soak in the refrigerator until much of the liquid is absorbed, at least 8 hours.

2 Preheat oven to 375F. Coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin tin with cooking spray (or use muffin tin liners).

3 Stir applesauce, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, backing powder and salt into the soaked oats. Fold in the blueberries. Divide the mixture among the muffin cups.

4 Bake the oatmeal cakes until they spring back when touched, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

*For a quicker muffin, use quick cook oats instead and you won’t have to wait 8 hours to finish making them.

Adapted from Eating Well’s recipe.

16 Jan 2017

It’s Time to Make that Decisive Dedication

It’s Time to Make that Decisive Dedication

Rom. 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of (all) the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies (presenting all your members and faculties) as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. (AMP)

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. (MSG)

When I decided to become a personal trainer, it wasn’t because I thought I would be good at it, or that it looked like a lucrative career. I decided to pursue it because I knew that’s why God had created me. He planted the seed of exercise and health, which began to grow as I realized and knew from first-hand experience that it wasn’t created to be a linguist, journalist or museum director. After prayer and talking with my husband, I made a “decisive dedication” and started walking the road God had placed in my heart. I never had a sense of peace,
fulfillment or purpose until I took the huge step of faith and started down the path of helping others on their health journey.

Although my “decisive dedication” was about a career change, the same applies to every aspect of our lives. Per Romans 12:1, making a firm, unwavering dedication of our bodies is exactly what God wants us to do: our “sleeping, eating, going-to-work, walking-around life”, which also includes our exercising, kid-raising, and TV-watching aspects of life.

When I resolved to follow God’s leading and make health and wellness my life’s work, He showed me some areas of my life that I needed to change, like no more alcohol. If you were to completely and decisively dedicate your body to God as a living sacrifice, what would you have to change to make it well-pleasing to God? Here are a few starter tips:

  • Eat food that God made for your body, not man-made food, i.e. cut out all fast food, processed foods (crackers, soda, cookies, cakes, pizza, etc.).
  • Limit personal device time to 30 minutes a day. Turn off the TV(s), iPads, Kindles, and cell phones. Instead, go on a walk or hike with friends or family or your dog.
  • Get enough sleep, so that you can better manage your emotions when things feel out-of-control, making it easier to live out the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22-23) The recommendation is six to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water (150 lb. person should drink 75 ounces of water). In the beginning, God made water. Nowhere in Genesis does it say, “In the beginning, God made coffee.” In a harsh environment, we would survive about three weeks without food, but if we didn’t have water, we’d last three days! That’s how important water is.

If these suggestions seem hard, then place it before God as an offering. Dedicating your body to God is your reasonable service (Rom. 12:1). God didn’t place us here – now, in history – so that we could satisfy the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).  Making a determined dedication of our bodies is another way to worship God, the one who sent his only Son to save our souls.

Prayer starter: Father God, please forgive me for not taking care of my body. I determine to dedicate it to you and ask that you prick my heart when I’m doing something that isn’t in line with your will for it and my life. Please give me the courage and resolution to change my habits so that they are honoring of you and the gifts you’ve given me. Thank you for your help!

11 Jan 2017

Vegan Green Chili

Vegan Green Chili

I grew up in Pueblo, Colorado and it’s famous for its green chili! It’s so delicious you want to lick the plate! In Pueblo, we would smother burritos, burgers, fries, eggs, and more! But it isn’t the most healtiest … that is until we invented this version! Oh my. If it wasn’t so hot, you might want to drink it! Ok, maybe not, but it’s amazing.
The most authentic green chili actually uses a roasted Pueblo Green Chili, which is only grown in southeastern Colorado, particularly in Pueblo. Since these aren’t available all over the world, I’ve put other chili options that make it taste just as yummy.

Vegan Green Chili Sauce (Pueblo style)

Adapted from recipe by Christine Bettiga

3 serrano chilies

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 roasted green chilies (Anaheim or Ancho)
2-3 jalapeno peppers
16 oz chicken broth
or 1 Tbspn McKay’s Chicken Seasoning with 2 cups water
1-12 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp curry powder
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp fresh cilantro
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
4 garlic cloves, sliced
½ tsp salt and pepper
1 small yellow onion


  1. In large pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add flour and stir, browning flour as you would a roux.
  3. Add some of your water or chicken broth if flour is too thick, keep stirring until it bubbles.
  4. Add chicken broth.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, then turn heat to low.
  6. Cook uncovered about 20 minutes, or until peppers are soft, stirring occasionally.
07 Jan 2017

Qunioa Salad with Raw Ginger & Garlic

Qunioa Salad with Raw Ginger & Garlic

As trainers, we understand the importance of eating right but we also like our food to taste good! This recipe is exactly that – healthy and tastes amazing! This vegan recipe is so delicious that even my 4 year old and 19 month old devour it! (Except I leave out the raw ginger and garlic in their servings … a little spicy for them.)

The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s quick and it’s chalk full of health benefits! Research shows that eating raw garlic can lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and fight the common cold. You can find out more about garlic’s amazing properties here. Plus, consuming raw ginger helps combat digestive issues and fights inflammation! This is amazing because inflammation causes weight retention and is a precursor to a lot of chronic diseases. (You can learn more about this by attending our 20/40 Project.)

And lastly, this salad is a great source of protein! Organic tofu and quinoa are both complete sources of protein!

Quinoa Salad with Raw Garlic & Ginger


12 oz prepackaged marinated tofu, diced*
1 cup quinoa
1.5 cups water
1.5 – 2 cups shredded carrots
1/4 – 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2-4 minced garlic cloves (depending on how garlicky you like it)
1/2 inch to 1 inch grated fresh ginger (depending on how spicy you like it)
1.5 Tbspn tamari, soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos

12 ounces chopped mushrooms
1 Tbspn coconut oil


Add the water and quinoa to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until all water has evaporated.
While quinoa is cooking, saute mushrooms in coconut oil with a dash of sea salt.
In large mixing bowl, add tofu, carrots, cilantro, garlic, ginger, Braggs, mushrooms and quinoa and stir until well combined.

*Instead of prepackaged and marinated tofu, you can make your own. Just dice, saute and season a block of firm tofu. I add it to my sauted mushrooms and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, Tajin and occasionally a bit of dried sweet basil.



14 Nov 2016

Love Him Forward

Love Him Forward

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God’s love for us is incomprehensible. He gave His ONLY Son … for us … for you … for me. These emotions hit me like a ton of bricks each time I think of this immeasurable love: deep gratitude, humility, joy, compassion, relief, excitement, vigor and so many more!

When we fully grasp the love that God has for us, we should be moved to want to love Him back – or for God, love Him forward. Huh? Love Him forward?

In Mark 12:30 and 31, Jesus gives these two commands:love-god
1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength;
2) Love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus then says, “There is no commandment greater than these.”

Love God, love ourselves and love our neighbor. But what does this have to do with health, you might ask? In loving God, we should want to take care of our health, as He is the one who gave us: our bodies to exercise; our hands to cook nourishing foods; our minds to capture each thought (2 Cor. 10:5) in order to reduce stress, rearrange busy schedules, control our eating and get enough sleep; Sabbath to rest; His Word to give us faith, hope, assurance and peace; prayer to ensure a two-way relationship with Him.

The above list, although not exhaustive, gives a glimpse of what we can do for ourselves, but what about our neighbor? The Greek definition of neighbor in this context means someone close by or near. Who could be nearer than your spouse, your children, your extended family, your close friends?

Loving God forward includes taking care of yourself and your “neighbors”, but it doesn’t stop with just your family and close friends. By sowing seeds of health and wellness into your relationships, you’re impacting generations to come!

To illustrate the importance of sowing good seeds, consider two men named Jonathan Edwards and Max Juke. Edwards was born in Connecticut in 1703, attended Yale and later became the president of Princeton University. Theologian Benjamin B. Warfield charted over 1,300 descendants of Edwards. This is what he found: a U.S. vice president, three senators, three governors, three mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 100 lawyers, 62 physicians, 75 military officers, and 100 missionaries and pastors.

Now, let’s look at Max Juke. Although not all of Max’s life can be completely traced (sociologist Richard Dugdale tried to trace it), the adage “you reap what you sow” still rings true. Juke was alive in the early 1700s. Out of the 1,200 descendants studied, his descendants include seven murders, 128 prostitutes, 60 thieves, 140 convicts, 280 indigents, and 440 whose lives were ruined by alcoholism.

If one person can affect their descendants that drastically, then it’s time to start loving God forward by getting healthy and well – both ourselves and our neighbors.

Prayer starter: Father God, thank you for your love and for Jesus. Please help me to love you and others, especially by setting a good example of health and wellness. Help me to do it out of a heart of love.