Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Play-by-play

My day started on a high note.
And it was all Mr. Kummerow's idea! 

Enter the Carrot Cake Cookie Oats!  In the mix is about 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (made with Almond Milk) 1/2 mashed banana, a Carrot Cake Cookie crumbled and a tablespoon of Trader Joe's Sunflower Seed Butter.  (We recently discovered that TJ's is the best Sunflower Seed Butter, and there is no competition!)

This breakfast was so delicious!  Sometimes a little treat for breakfast is just what you need to start your day.

I had a fabulous workout today with all of my favorite workout buddies.  Kristin, my running buddy, and I tackled a quick 2 miler before we set off into the gym for some weights.  It felt so great to be back out on the road and running.  Today was amazing weather, sunny and warm.  I ran in shorts and a t-shirt.  If only this weather would stay forever! 

In the gym, I knocked out the February workout with Ashley and Angie.  It is a tough workout!

The remainder of my morning was productively spent running errands.  Post office to renew my passport, bank for deposits, bank for withdrawals, Mr. Kummerow's school to drop off some books, several local stores for Girls on the Run donation requests...busy, busy morning. 

I had an exciting lunch date today, and finished my errands in just the nick of time.  I met Jessie from Don't Forget Dessert and Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life at Brixx Pizza.  This was my second meet-up with Jessie and first with Brittany, who lives just minutes away!  It is so nice to socialize with other bloggers who understand this unique way of life.  Amazingly...not a single one of us whipped out our cameras for photos.  That is when you know you are truly enjoying a moment!

Ok, I know I am giving you a play-by-play of my day...but it was such a perfect, well-rounded day. I don't want you to miss out on a single moment of it!  No worries...there is a treat (in the form of a recipe) at the end!

After lunch I picked up Bob and Toby from school and we spent two glorious hours outside playing by the lake.  The weather has been so wonderful!  I just can't get enough of it.  They splashed around in the shallow water, and I read Food Matters while kicking back in a lounge chair.  Life doesn't get much better than this!

I got off work early and Mr. Kummerow and I had fun plans for dinner.  A group at our church is leading the study "Outlive Your Life" by Max Lucado.  It's no secret that missions have been on my mind recently and we were excited to join this study.  "Outlive Your Life" explores different ways to serve in your own communities and gives inspiring stories to energize your own missions.  It dives into the book of Acts and observes how the first Christian church served and how we are all created and called to serve. 

We were very excited to start this study.  It doesn't hurt that the group hosts dinner each Tuesday before the study and it also doesn't hurt that two of the other families are vegan, two others are very health conscious with gluten-free diets, and well- the rest of the group just sort of humors us!  Last week I was looking forward to dinner with these friends when Mr. Kummerow and I suddenly fell ill.  It was so nice to finally be able to join in. 

Tonight Jan brought rice and vegetable stir-fry.  Elizabeth sent these delicious Apricot Bars with her husband (she couldn't make it tonight)-I might have had 3- Shannon sliced up some fresh fruit, and I made this salad to share.
This salad was inspired by the latest Vegetarian Times.  I love their series "One Food Five Ways."  This month's food was Edamame.  With my magazine, I gathered the ingredients I had on hand and got to work in the kitchen.  This recipe was a leap of faith for me, but I have to admit it turned out pretty good.  It received raving reviews at dinner tonight...let's hope they weren't just being nice.

Purple Cabbage and Edamame Salad with Raisin Sunflower Dressing

Salad Ingredients:
1 head purple cabbage, large shreds or chopped
1 package frozen shelled edamame
5 mini sweet peppers (or one large bell pepper), sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp Sunflower Seed Butter (Tahini would also be really good in this dressing)
1 tbsp Shoyu Sauce (or Soy Sauce)
1 tbsp Orange Juice
1-2 tbsp Veganaise

In medium pot, bring 4 cups water to boil.  Add edamame and boil for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain and rinse with cool water.

Meanwhile combine all other salad ingredients in large bowl and toss.  Add cooled edamame. 

For dressing, soak raisins in 1/2 cup hot water for 10 minutes.  Drain raisins, reserving water.  Place raisins in food processor and process until smooth.  This may take a while and you will have to scrape down the sides of the processor several times.  Mix in Sunflower Seed Butter, or other seed butter and process until combined.  Add Shoyu sauce and Orange juice and process.  Mix in raisin water and/or Veganaise until dressing becomes desired consistency.  You can use this as a vinegarette style dressing or as a creamier dressing.  Your choice. 

Right before serving, toss dressing into salad. 
Delicious!

Here are my thoughts so far on the study: It is really inspiring.  To hear all these real-life stories of how one person can make a huge difference is awesome.  It is empowering and awe-inspiring.  I have spent most of my life waiting for my "calling" and anticipating God's will for my life.  However, in the words of Doug, the pastor at my church, there is no "God's will for my life" only "God's Will".  I think we get caught up waiting for a sign or the perfect opportunity, when so many times it is staring us in the face.  God has a great plan, he is just waiting on us to jump on board.  This study is helping me prepare to jump on board.  I am not sure where my passions are but I know that I am passionate and ready to serve.  I am tired of this selfish life and feeling empty inside.  I really believe the answer to an unfulfilled life is to fill it up by serving others.  I intend to do just this. 

Our group is already planning ways in which we can help our community.  Today we had to write 10 of our gifts and talents on sticky notes and we compiled them on the wall to evaluate the strengths our group possesses.  It was amazing to see all the notes on the wall and to know that God created each of us uniquely with all of these gifts!  I am so ready to see them in action! 

My take away from this week's study is this:

Acts 4:32
All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 

I love this beautiful, selfless image of believers.  That is the type of Christian I want to be.  To give of everything I have.  To give all you have is to gain.  That is how love works.  And love is the truest most sincere emotion there is.  And it comes from God.  We love because Christ first loved us. 

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