Lifestyle, marriage

Roberts Adventures: Camping in Kanopolis

Growing up, I remember loving the INDOORS. I hated bugs (ok, I still hate bugs), hated scratchy grass, and didn’t like getting all sweaty. Maybe that’s a typical girl thing, but I’m so thankful my love for adventure and outdoors has grown over the years. Now I truly love being out in God’s creation and seeing new places!

Thankfully, I married a man who also loves the outdoors, and his love has only helped me appreciate God’s creation even more. Brady had us register for a bunch of camping gear for our wedding and we finally got to put it to use a couple of weekends ago at Kanopolis State Park. We had a BLAST and truly found a gem in Kansas! (I am so sad to report that the pictures I took on my camera somehow got deleted. I’m super bummed! So please enjoy these iPhone photos in their place. 😉 )

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We pitched our tent at the Rockwall campsite and loved where we ended up! The lake is beautiful and there are rock ledges surrounding it. I’m glad we went earlier in the season because it wasn’t too hard to find a spot that wasn’t surrounded by big groups. I imagine it gets pretty busy though in the coming months!

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On our first night we found one of the hiking trails and did some walking. It was incredibly peaceful, we saw some wildlife, and we figured out that I take 12 steps for every 10 steps Brady takes, haha. These are important things to learn! The further we got on our hike, the more unique the boulders and cliffs around us became. It was stunning, even with most of the plants being brown still.

We came back to our campsite, gathered some brush and wood, and managed to build a fire with the windy weather. Brady did an amazing job! We grilled some brats and made campfire cones. We filled waffle cones with marshmallows, Reese’s, and banana and then wrapped them in foil and put them over the fire. They were so, so good! It felt pretty awesome to make your food on a fire that you created!

When we woke up in the morning, we brought out our camping grill to make french press coffee, eggs, and sausage. We were able to sit by the lake and soak in some time with Jesus as we sipped our coffee and it was wonderful. Those are my favorite moments! We then packed up camp and headed to find some more hiking.

We ended up at Horsethief Canyon after seeing some great reviews. The trail definitely didn’t disappoint! There were so many points where we felt like we were in an old western movie and not in the middle of Kansas. The rock formations were incredible, and the sand that had fallen off of the unusually soft rocks was bright yellow and so fun to touch. We ended up getting off the trail and semi-lost for a bit, but we found our way back and had a great 1 hour hike!

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After our hike we headed home! It was a quick trip, but so refreshing for us to get outside and do something new together. We would love to go back soon and explore some other trails and camp sites. Kansas is so beautiful!

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Ok, your turn! Where are your favorite places to find adventure? Have you found some great things to do outside in Kansas? We’d love to explore more based off your suggestions! 🙂

 

In the Word

When We Forget Our Purpose

This past week was definitely one of those weeks. You know, the ones where you have your schedule mapped out and you prepare yourself each morning for all that needs to get done. Things keep popping up on the calendar and you go into autopilot mode to make sure you are where you need to be when you need to be there and it’s a victory if everything gets done each day.

This past week was full and busy with great things, but amidst the busy, I forgot about my purpose.

I went into autopilot when it came to helping Brady prepare for our church plant meeting. Instead of remembering the purpose to our actions and words, I was concentrating on getting things done in the most efficient way possible.

I went into autopilot with my high school small group girls, concentrating on getting to our end time without any major problems rather than soaking in what God had for us.

I went into autopilot when I went to work, crossing off my to-do list rather than nurturing the relationships I have.

Does any of this sound familiar? Do you have autopilot moments too?

I’m so thankful that God woke me up from this mode yesterday. First, He showed me the way I was living, then He forgave me for forgetting my purpose and the reason behind all of my actions. And now for the coolest part… He still wants to use me even after I messed up.

God has put you in a specific place for a very specific reason. You are called to a work that only YOU can do. He wants to use YOU where you are at, and He created YOU specifically for that roll.

I believe the enemy loves to distract us with busyness and to-do lists, because we tend to forget our deeper purpose and live in an autopilot mode that cripples our very specific calling.

So, if you are in a similar place as I was, I encourage you to do a few things.

  1. Talk to God. Tell Him how life has been lately and ask Him to forgive your lack of purpose.
  2. Seek Truth. When we forget our purpose, it’s always great to brush up on who Jesus is and why He’s worth living for. John is a great book to go to!
  3. Refocus. Write down who God has called you to be and the purpose He has given you. What did He save you from? How does He want to use you today?
  4. Start new. Praise God that you still have purpose and a calling, even when we forget about it sometimes. Today is a new day. Have grace for yourself and start fresh.

 …that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…

Ephesians 3:16-17

(emphasis mine)

Sister and friend, you aren’t in this alone. Today is new, grace is wonderful, and you are loved. Don’t forget it!

Lifestyle

Whole30: Week 4 Review

Well my friends, after 30 days, my Whole30 journey is officially over! (cue streamers and confetti, please) This is a Week 4 review, but I’m going to add in the last 2 days and make it my final recap.

Here are my previous recaps if you’d like to see how the journey has gone!

Why I’m Doing the Whole30

Week 1 Review

Week 2 Review

Week 3 Review

And now for our last review…

The Good

The last days went better as far as meal prep goes. We created some delicious recipes and even served some to guests! I love that Whole30 compliant food is truly yummy, and I didn’t have to feel bad at all about making others eat a compliant meal. Recipes from this week included Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken with Butternut Squash (MY FAVORITE!), Spinach Artichoke Twice Baked Potatoes, mini and large frittatas, Shrimp and Sausage Skillet, steak fajitas, and this super tasty Sweet Barbeque Pulled Pork. They were all recipes worth trying! IMG_8466.JPGIMG_8521.JPG

My energy levels and sleep were great, and I busted out 4 workouts (I think!) that felt good for the mind and body. I did weigh myself on Day 31 and lost a few pounds, but nothing substantial. I’m thinking this is because I still need to work on portion control, especially with sweet potatoes and fruit! I was a little bummed I didn’t lose more weight, but I’m thankful a bit is gone and I’m going to put the scale back in the closet so that it isn’t my focus! I’m liking the change in thinking as far as weight/being healthy goes. I’d rather focus on being healthy and treating my body well rather than being at a certain weight. It’s hard (anyone hear me?!), but worth it!

The Bad

So I have to be honest with you guys. I ended my Whole30 one meal early. I know I know… but I’m honestly at peace with it. It was a special occasion with family. I prayed about it. Felt okay about it. And now it’s over! And the funny thing is that it didn’t taste absolutely amazing or anything like that and I could totally tell a difference in my stomach minutes after consuming part of a breadstick. So crazy! So yes, your body definitely reacts differently to the different foods you eat.

Another thing that started to get to us was the amount of DISHES Whole30 requires. You cook a lot on this program and our sink always seemed to have a pile of dishes somewhere in it. Brady has been wonderful and loves to help with them while I cook, but the constant need for dish washing definitely got to us! IMG_8513.JPG

I have been a little frustrated with my digestion, as my system still doesn’t seem to have any rhythm. I had hopes it was getting better in Week 3, but that only lasted a few days. Maybe someday I’ll find the cure, but Whole30 didn’t seem to do it. I’m bummed!

 

So, if I did Whole30 again, here is what I would do differently:

  1. Have someone do it with me. It would’ve been great to have a buddy! Especially for the times we ate with others or there were treats around.
  2. Prepare a budget ahead of time. We spent a lot on groceries and I would’ve loved to have been more prepared for that! Even saving a little extra ahead of time if the budget is tight.
  3. Work on portion sizes ahead of time. This is super mental for me, and I wish I would’ve set better expectations for myself here, especially with carbs in the form of potatoes and fruit. These became my go-to and a place where I would overindulge.

 

And what’s my plan from here? My goal is to stick to a mainly paleo diet and continue to work on portion control and listening to my body. These things sound so easy, but for me they aren’t. I do think Whole30 helped me understand that I can live without sugar, it’s just getting my mind to remember that when cookies or ice cream are sitting in front of me. 😉 I’m going to allow some flex though, and I’m sure this plan will continue to develop as we go along! I don’t miss grains or dairy too badly, so I’d like to continue to stay away from those when possible. The journey only continues from here! 🙂

I can’t thank you all enough for following along! Like I’ve said before, please reach out if you’re in need of support or if you have questions about starting your own healthy lifestyle. I am here for you! And you’ll never regret taking care of the body God gave you. 🙂

Lifestyle, Recipes

Whole 30: Week 3 Review

If you’ve been following along with my Whole 30 journey I want to take a second to thank you. You’re a rockstar for reading about my sugar cravings and digestive problems. 😉 I have heard of one friend who is starting her own Whole 30 journey which is SO exciting, and I hope a few other people can look at these posts and form a belief that it’s something they can do, too. You are SO WORTH taking control of your health, and I’d love to support you along the way! Shoot me a message over on Facebook or Instagram and I’d love to chat. 🙂

Now it is time for a Week 3 review! This was definitely not my strongest week, but I still learned a lot through it! I’m also getting to the stage where I need to form a plan of what will be next once these 30 days are over. I failed in this area the last time I tried Whole 30, and I’m not going to let that happen again! I will share my plan with you on the next recap.

If you’re new, here are the previous posts from this Whole 30 mini-series:

Why I’m Doing It

Week 1 Review

Week 2 Review 

And now for Week 3…

The Good

During Week 3 I saw an improvement in my digestion, HALLELUJAH! This was one of my biggest goals that I was hoping to accomplish. There is still room for improvement, but I’m grateful for every small step forward. For this week I slept great again, my skin is staying pretty clear, and my energy levels were normal. I’m learning more and more how to be in-tune with my body and give it what it needs. I’m learning how much I need to eat for breakfast in order to be full until lunch time and that I don’t need as much fruit as I’d like to have. I’ve been noticing a huge JOY in not having to focus on losing weight. I love the fact that my scale is hidden. I feel more beautiful because I know I am taking care of myself, and if I’m doing that, who cares what I weigh… ya know? I have noticed a little more room in my jeans which feels great along with a confidence in who God has made me to be. I love knowing that I’m taking care of the body He’s given me! This is an area where I’ve always struggled to honor Him and I’m super thankful that I’m growing and changing.

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A new recipe we tried this week was Pesto Baked Chicken with homemade pesto and it was great! I also got 4 workouts in (1 less than my goal), but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I have grown a love for T25 the past couple of weeks! Nothing like crazy sweet for 25 minutes and then being done. 🙂

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The Bad

You will notice that I only shared one recipe up there because I failed at meal prepping this week. Our schedule got crazy on Monday, which threw off my meal prep, and then, well, you know how that goes. Thankfully another batch of buffalo chicken helped the week not turn into a disaster, but I did end up eating some random combinations! (not recommend)

I have been missing things like gum and Shakeology, and I had to turn down delicious looking cake balls at a birthday party. On Day 15 I had thoughts of “I’ve done fine… I’ve learned my lessons… do I really need to keep going?”, but thankfully I talked myself back to reality and kept pushing. Otherwise, I’m becoming more and more ok with saying no to things I don’t need which feels pretty amazing.

Another struggle I’m having is afternoon snacking. Yes, I’m still eating compliant foods, but I’m usually not super hungry for dinner because of it, and then I overindulge because I want the nutrients dinner is going to provide. This is my next giant to tackle with self control!

Week 4 Goals:

  • Less snacking in the afternoon
  • Figuring out how much I need at lunchtime to fuel me until dinner
  • Workout 5 times
  • Make a plan for Day 31 and beyond

It’s crazy to be on the final week of this plan! It truly has gone by quickly. Like I said earlier, don’t be afraid to shoot me a message with questions or if you’re needing support in your own journey. I’d love to walk beside you in it! Have a great day my friends!

 

Lifestyle, Recipes

Whole 30: Week 2 Review

Well my friends, Week 2 has come and gone which means it’s time for a recap! The second week of my Whole 30 journey was a little more difficult than the first, which I think is normal. The newness and excitement of it all wore off, and visions of ice cream danced in my head basically every day. Ha! BUT I am praising the Lord because I’ve been able to stay strong and stick with it.

If you’re new here, you can read about why I’m doing the Whole 30 here, and about Week 1 here! Now let’s discuss Week 2…

The Good

My energy levels felt way more normal during this week which was a huge bonus for my workouts! I hit my 5 workout goal, and not only did I get them done, but they felt really awesome. It’s crazy how great my stomach felt on my run without any artificial nastiness in there.

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I loved trying more new recipes throughout the week and we found some major winners! They included pizza soup and buffalo chicken meatballs (great for our March Madness watch party. I substituted almond flour for the panko and it worked just fine!). But the biggest winners this week were breakfast items. We made these sweet potato waffle breakfast sandwiches (but with russet potatoes) and this sweet potato apple bake and I’m pretty sure I could eat both of these things every single day. Please do yourself a favor and try one or both! Even Brady loved them. 🙂

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Also, I have been sleeping like a rock. I get to where I can’t keep my eyes open much past 10 and I’m feeling better rested throughout the day. I still struggle with waking up, but hey, maybe I’m just not meant to be a morning person?

 

The Bad

Like I mentioned earlier, my cravings hit a lot stronger this past week. When my sugar monster would start roaring, I would try to think about something else, or get busy with a different task and usually I’d forget about it. But it was hard! I would love a scoop of ice cream or a nice warm cookie right about now. Even though I’ve had more cravings, it feels really good to know that I can say no to them and move on. It’s a strength I’ve doubted I have so many times!

My stomach did a few weird things during Week 2. There were a couple of days that any food (especially fruit) gave me some weird stomach pain and I got a lot of random headaches. I was also PMSing, so I’m sure that added into it as well. I’m a little frustrated that my digestive issues don’t seem to be getting better yet, but I’m still hopeful!

Goals for Week 3:

  • Drink More Water– I can always improve on this, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t been getting enough
  • Eat More Veggies– My go-to is always fruit and protein. I need to up my veggie intake!
  • Workout 5 times
  • Watch portion control/eat when hungry

Thanks for stopping by! Is anyone else out there doing Whole 30? How’s it going for you?

Lifestyle

Whole 30: Week 1 Review

Happy FriYAY! Don’t you just love knowing the weekend is upon us?! Our weekend will be full of LOTS of basketball. I’m thankful Brady and I both love March Madness and that our brackets aren’t completely shot yet. 😉

I am currently on Day 12 of the Whole 30 and wanted to share a Week 1 recap with you all! You can find part 1 of this Whole 30 mini-series here, where I explain my reasons for changing my diet in this way.

So, how did Week 1 go you ask? 😉

The Good

I had primarily given up sugar about a week beforehand and I think that helped me with my cravings for the start of Whole 30. They really weren’t bad, and I enjoyed getting to try new recipes and eat some of my favorite things like SWEET POTATOES. (These buffalo chicken sweet potato boats were my jam for week 1!) My husband has been such a trooper and has enjoyed the Whole 30 compliant meals right along with me! For week 1 we also tried mini-frittatas for breakfast, gluten-free chicken tenders, and basic chicken fajitas (on lettuce for me, tortillas for him).

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I have struggled with acne for most of my 20’s, but I did not notice any additional breakouts during week 1 which was a really nice surprise! I’m thanking the no-sugar for that. 🙂

The Bad

There were a few hard things that happened during week 1, but nothing too extravagant! It was Brady’s birthday week which meant eating out a couple of times. I did my best to stay compliant with the meals I chose, but there is always room for improvement! Sitting at Olive Garden surrounded by delicious breadsticks was not easy, let me tell ya. But I made it through the evening and came out a stronger person!

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I also noticed a lack of energy, especially in the afternoons. I only got in 3-4 SHORT workouts because I really wasn’t feeling it with my energy levels. My goal for week 2 is to stick to my consistent, 5 times a week, workout routine.

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So, all in all, week 1 wasn’t too bad! The changes were exciting and new, and if my cravings came, they passed rather quickly.

Week 2 Goals: 

  • workout 5 times
  • watch portion control/stop eating when I’m full (why is this such a hard concept for me?!)

 

Cheers to week 2, friends, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

 

Lifestyle

Why I’m Doing the Whole 30

I’ve followed Whole 30 on social media for over a year now. I’ve heard of different friends doing it and having great results. Heck, I even gave it a shot in February of last year. So why am I doing it now?

I came to a breaking point in my relationship with food about a month ago. I know I know, it sounds weird to say that we have a relationship with food, but we do! Mine has been pretty broken since I can remember (overeating/binge eating/emotional eating). I’ve used food as a crutch. As a rock in times of struggle. As a reward for any and everything. Basically, I’ve turned to food instead of Jesus with a lack of self-control to the point that it made me feel sick, physically and emotionally.

So, like I said, I hit a breaking point about a month ago and knew something had to change. I’ve gotten better about eating healthy foods over the last 2 years, but I’ve still had a crazy addiction to sugar and carbs. As in if there was candy or sweets or anything of the like around, it would find its way into my mouth and be polished off without a second thought. I got to a point where I was disgusted with my lack of self control and the hold that the enemy has on this area of my life. I knew something intense needed to change, and I was ready to put in the hard work to do it.

Enter: Whole 30

I chose Whole 30 because it isn’t a diet or fad, but it’s an eating plan that is meant to change your relationship with food. You can learn more about it here. The basics are no grains, sugar, dairy, or legumes for 30 days. That’s it. No calorie counting or set meal plans, just crazy good recipes to help you get over the food addictions in your life. I love that the program asks you to weigh yourself at the beginning and the end, but THAT’S IT. You will most likely lose weight with this diet shift, but they don’t want that to be your focus.

So, here are the things that I am hoping to accomplish through this program:

  • break my addiction to sugar (yes, it’s a scientific addiction)
  • clear up the acne I’ve been dealing with for most of my 20’s
  • be less bloated/lose the extra pounds I have
  • learn to eat to fuel my body
  • solve my digestive issues (chronic constipation if you must know)
  • sleep soundly
  • and most of all, let this become an area of my life that Jesus has control of

Now that I am on Day 10, I’m already noticing some of these things changing and I couldn’t be more thankful. God has been walking with me on this health journey for almost 2 years now, and I know I can only keep going by leaning on Him. If I need to do a Whole 60 or Whole 90 to truly break my habits, then I’ll do it. I’m excited to pray through this and see where it all leads.

A week 1 recap will be coming soon! If you’ve thought about doing the Whole 30, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions! And if you’ve done it before, I’d love to hear any tips you have. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and have a beautiful day!