Motivation Monday Stacey

motivation monday staceyToday’s motivation Monday is going to be about my cousin Stacey. For people who know Stacey, especially her family, they can’t help but to be inspired by her. Life has thrown some serious obstacles at her throughout the years but nothing can stop her from pushing through. Someone could write a book on all the things that life has thrown at her and most people would have a hard time believing that it all happened to one person.
Stacey is a few years older than I am. She was the first grandchild and I am the second. So just that fact always made me look up to her. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend together growing up because our parents lived in different states. When we did get together I loved being with her, she was always so funny and very blunt. By blunt I mean she tells it like it is, which, is something I admire about her. She’s a very real person, which most people have trouble doing. I’ll never forget her love of broccoli, her first car had a personalized license plate that said broccoli in fact.
I will just share a couple of things that she has been through just to show you her strength! The first thing I remember was when Stacey was 16 years old and a junior in high school she got in a horrible car accident. We didn’t know if she would make it for a while. She had so many injuries. She had to relearn to do almost everything. But she did it and still graduated high school and went onto college too. She now works as a mental health professional. Over the years she has had many things happen to her body because of that accident. She often has internal bleeding and was told she would never be able to have children. Well God had other plans and blessed Stacey and her husband with an amazing little boy, George the third otherwise known as G3.
Stacey is an amazing mom to George, she is always posting about these great crafts or projects that they are doing together at home. George is such a smart boy and I know she adores the time she gets to spend with him. I love that I get to keep up with them on Face book, but I wish we lived closer so our kids could play together. I know they would be the best of friends.
About three years back another obstacle jumped into Stacey’s life. She found out she had Lymphoma. This truly devastated her as it would anyone. She never gave up for a second, she went through chemotherapy and prepared George all along the way. She made him a therapy doll and tried to really help him deal with all the changes that she would be going through. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for a three year old to understand that their mommy is sick but that it would take a long time before she would be healed. She went into the process so strong and was very brave about losing her hair and had fun finding wigs and even named her wigs.
Throughout this time Stacey has met some amazing people who had different types of cancers. I’m sure she motivated them to make it through this even when they didn’t feel strong enough. Since then she has gotten much stronger and continues to encourage people in her survivor group. She also belongs to a Live strong workout group. She has completed a mud run and every year does a race for colon cancer, called the Undy 5000.
She is the true meaning of a survivor, she is still going to have more surgeries and obstacles but she will not stop fighting or give up! I admire her strength and the light heartedness she seems to have when facing these huge mountains. In her own words she said, “For some reason, I’m still here.” I don’t doubt for a second that God knew when he gave little George to Stacey that he knew that they both would need each other so much throughout the years. I’m so glad that she has been given this blessing to help her push through the times when she may not feel like she can take it anymore.

I hope that this encourages some of you out there today who may be struggling with whatever obstacles you have in front of you. My very brave and courageous cousin Stacey has had more than her share of hardships, but she keeps on going and you can too. Even if you aren’t facing cancer we all have struggles and moments of weakness when we feel we have more than we can take. Just keep on going and take it one day at a time, you will find a reason to keep fighting, just like Stacey has done and will continue to do for years to come! I love you Stacey, I am so glad God made us cousins. You are an inspiration to all who know you!

Super food Ch Ch Ch Chia seeds

chia-heartChia seeds are an ancient grain but a newer fad in the healthy eating world. At least I discovered them about a year ago in my health journey. Who would have thought we could eat the same very seeds that we used to grow these strange chia pet creatures when we were kids. I love to put them in every smoothie that I have. They have no taste at all and I don’t even know they are there. So for this super food post I will highlight some of the benefits of Ch-ch-ch chia seeds.
Benefits of Chia
1. They may be a natural treatment for type 2 diabetes. This is because they can slow down the process of digestion in our body. They also contain tryptophan that helps with sleep, mood, and appetite.
2. Chia is full of antioxidants and omega 3 fats. The Omega 3 fats in chia can help to reduce inflammation, and also may reduce cholesterol as well. Another thing that omega 3 fatty acids are good for is our mind, they can make your cognitive skills sharper.
3. FULL of fiber- we don’t have to talk about the benefits of fiber right? So for people who really try to pack in a lot of fiber Chia is a good way to do so, it’s a great alternative to wheat bran!
4. Helps with insulin stability, which can help with stomach fat and also bloating. It helps your body manage its insulin levels.
5. Along with lowering cholesterol, it can help with blood pressure as well. If you have metabolic syndrome, you need to put Chia into your diet.
6. Chia seeds help you to feel full after you eat them, which is a good reason to put them in smoothies!
7. Chia are a great source of calcium which can help your bones and teeth. They also have other nutrients manganese and phosphorus as well.
Ways to use Chia seeds
Chia seeds can be compared to flax seeds in their benefits, but a positive of chia seeds is you can eat them whole, you don’t have to ground them as you do Chia. As I stated earlier I always put them in my smoothies. That is the simplest way I know to use them. Here are a few recipes that I will be trying VERY soon!
This one is from http://www.thegraciouspantry.com

Clean Eating Strawberry Chia Seed Spread
Ingredients:
• 2 cups strawberries – cleaned and chopped
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup chia seeds
• 1/4 cup honey
Directions:
1. Place all ingredients into a metal pot and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat slightly so the contents of the pot don’t splatter all over your stove, but still bubbles in the pot.
3. Stir constantly! The chia seeds burn on the bottom of the pot very easily. So keep stirring (I had to change pots half way through because the seeds burned so easily).
4. Stir and boil until the mixture has reduced by half and has thickened. Again, it will not be as thick as jam, but it sill definitely thicken.
5. Pour into a clean glass jar and allow to cool for 1 hour. Place in the fridge overnight to continue cooling.
Nutritional Content:
Note: There is no way for me to know exactly how far you will boil down the spread, and therefore I have no idea how many servings this will end up being for you. The below numbers are for the entire recipe. Simply divide by the number of servings you end up with.
Calories: 904
Total Fat: 35 gm
Saturated Fats: 4 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 28 mg
Carbohydrates: 142 gm
Dietary fiber: 48 gm
Sugars: 84 gm
Protein: 20 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 50

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding Pops
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4  Size: 1 popsicle  Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 74 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 6.8 g • Fiber: 4.6 g • Protein: 1.8 g • Sugar: 0.6 g
Sodium: 27 mg

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 3/4 cup raspberries
• 2 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
• 8 drops Nu-Naturals liquid stevia (or sugar/honey to taste)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large container. Mix well and close container; refrigerate 4 hours so the chia expands.

Mint Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
(inspired by and adapted from A Dash of Compassion)
Makes two 8-ounce servings

• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup water
• 1 handful whole mint leaves
• 1/3 cup whole chia seeds
• 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• pinch of sea salt
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Directions:
• In a small pot, mix together sugar, water and mint leaves
• Bring to a boil and remove from heating, allowing to cool before using (it will thicken as it cools)
• Remove mint leaves from syrup before using
• In a high-speed blender or bowl, mix together chia seeds, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sea salt, almond milk and two tablespoons of cooled mint simple syrup (you will have extra — pour it on ice cream or more fresh strawberries!)
• Divide mixture into two 8-ounce mason jars and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving
• Serve chilled

I hope you enjoyed this information on Chia seeds. I’m finding it easy to put this super food into my diet every day. I hope you will try some of these recipes and incorporate Ch- Ch- Ch- Chia into your life too.