Thanksgiving Leftovers…Reinvented for Breakfast!

There was no Black Friday shopping for me today….not that I minded. The one and only time I ventured out for Black Friday shopping was to appease my Filipino exchange student who wanted to experience the American Black Friday shopping experience. She wasn’t impressed. Neither was I. I prefer to shop in my jammies, coffee in hand, in front of my computer.

But none of that today, either. Like I mentioned before, I work in healthcare. Healthcare is open 24/7, 365 days a year. So, instead of Black Friday shopping, I went to work today. We decorated the facility for Christmas, so all in all, it was a great day.

Since I have a 45 minute commute to work, I like to eat breakfast on the go. I like portable food that I can grab and go. Since I am gluten-free, gone are the days of Pop Tarts and buttered toast and bagels. So, I have to be creative. I spend Sundays baking muffins or other such portable food. I also love my Orgreenic pancake pan. I use it at least once a week. This morning, I made a sweet potato chocolate chip portable pancake for one. I slathered it with almond butter. It was not the easiest finger food, but I made it work. The almond butter (homemade by the way) was worth the slight mess.

Perfect PancakesSweet Potato Chocolate Chip Pancake

1 leftover baked sweet potato, mashed

1 egg, whisked

2 Tbsp. buckwheat flour (or flour of choice)

1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup

dash cinnamon

handful of chocolate chips

Simply mix together and pour into a greased Orgreenic pancake pan. Cook over medium heat. Check after about 5 minutes and flip. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Simple as that. Simple enough for a work morning. Top with almond butter or enjoy plain.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Pancake for One DoneThe  finished product…topped with almond butter and coffee to go.Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Pancake for One

Delicious, healthy, and a great way to use a leftover Thanksgiving sweet potato.

Devotional thought for the day:

Leftovers…nothing wasted. My time should be like that, too. God should get more than just my leftover time. I can be creative with leftover food to make it into something unique. I need to be creative with my time…between sleeping, commuting to and from work, working, kids’ activities, household tasks….how much of my “leftover” time do I give God? I’ve been trying to be more mindful of how I spend my time. I do morning devotions which helps my mind focus for the day ahead. He deserves more of me, of my time, though, than 10 minutes in the morning. Prayer journaling is a great way for me to truly connect with God. Christmas, the gift of God’s Son…I need to give God the gift of my time. What ways do you connect with God?

Thanksgiving…a day early

I love Thanksgiving…time with family, delicious food, a day off work, and the reminder to pause and reflect on all I have to be thankful for. That being said, I will admit…I loved Thanksgiving much more a few years ago before all these stomach issues. I loved the stuffing (especially the oyster stuffing), Aunt Linda’s date pudding, sweet potatoes oozing with brown sugar topping, buttered dinner rolls, Buckeyes (a delicious chocolate peanut butter combination), and all the pies. It was also much easier a few years ago before I had to juggle multiple family get-togethers and a career in healthcare which operates 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.

Even with the challenges the day brings, I still look forward to Thanksgiving. Thankfully, I love turkey and sweet potatoes although I have learned to always ask before I eat anything I did not personally make. One year, the sweet potatoes had been dredged in flour before they were coated in the gooey topping. Who does that? Oh well, they were good, but I paid for it later.

As I am now. This morning after a delicious cup of coffee, I visited one of my favorite natural, locally owned health food stores. I wanted gluten-free oats. This store sells them in bulk, and they are the cheapest I have found. I meandered around the store and that’s when I saw it….staring back at me…enticing me with all its pumpkin-y Thanksgiving charm. A generous slice of gluten-free pumpkin roll. I stared, considered, and walked away. Then, I came back and my resolve had dissolved…I succombed to temptation and bought the slice of gluten-free pumpkin roll telling myself that I would save it for my Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

Thanksgiving came early for me. I no more than walked through my front door before I had a bite in my mouth. I savored that cream cheese filling smothered between the sweet pumpkin. I stopped myself, though, and placed it in the refrigerator. For tomorrow.

I exercised. I ate lunch. I helped my daughter on her paper. And tomorrow came….like 3 hours from the first bite. Only I didn’t stop there. I made hot chocolate with new Silk Cashewmilk and Caffe D’Viata organic hot cocoa mix with a little extra carob powder for good measure. (I love the new cashewmilk from Silk!!) I ate that entire piece of pumpkin roll while I drank my hot chocolate. Yup, I ate my Thanksgiving dessert a day early.

It’s been about 2 hours later, and my stomach is churning. I am completely uncomfortable and in pain. And yes, I regret giving into temptation. So, my feet are up in the recliner, and I am having a lazy afternoon like my favorite chocolate lab as I wait for the tea kettle to whistle. I need ginger tea.

SadieAll I want to do is sit in this chair and be lazy like my lab. The chocolate, sugar, and dairy are definitely not settling well. I seldom eat sugar, and I rarely drink hot chocolate. And I consume very little dairy for this reason. It’s frustrating to have to be so careful with what I eat. I am recovering from a nasty reaction to tuna last week. My lips swelled, and my skin around my mouth peeled. I wanted to wear a mask at work! Thankfully, it’s better now.

The thing is, I have a general idea of what I can and cannot eat. Unfortunately, the cannots outweigh the cans. I am human, though. I give into temptation like that pumpkin roll today.  I am reminded that life is like that sometimes. I am enticed by the instant gratification of something. I don’t pause and take the time to really reflect on whether it is worth the potential consequences. Whether it is food, purchasing shoes I don’t need, or trying to get ahead of God’s will for my life, I can make the decision to say yes or no to temptation. Sometimes, I am succesful at being stronger than the temptation, and other times like today, I am not. My stomach-ache will pass with time, and hopefully I will remember the lesson from today.Thou shalt not eat things that look delicious when they will cause horrible stomach pains later!

1 Corinthians 10 13 snow design

Faith, Hope, Love, & Food….Explained

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

It’s one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

Faith…in God, family, friends, and that goodness still exists in the world. Hope…in things greater than I can see. Love…of God, family, friends, my country…and food!

So what does food have to do with these three words? So much! Food…truthfully, I love good food….homemade, healthy, and wholesome food enjoyed with a cup of coffee and with great company.

Food is also the source of a lot of turmoil in my life. After a lengthy battle with my health, I now live with a host of food allergies and intolerances. I went from super skinny (due to unplanned weight loss as part of my illness) to being just normal. I’m human-I love chocolate, and I overeat sometimes. I have “fat” jeans, and I don’t always like what I see in the mirror.

But…I am learning that God loves me as I am. He cares about the big issues in my life and the small issues in my life. My illness has forced me to re-evaluate my life on so many levels. I am learning to trust God, to trust that He loves.

Join me in this devotional journey. Together as women of Christ, we can truly learn to embrace the women we are in God’s eyes, not the world’s definition of the ideal woman. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me!

Coffee

Devotional thought for the day:

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

Wow….God really does care about the little things in our lives. Everything we eat, everything we drink….should be for the glory of the One who loves us. The Bible talks about our bodies being temples…we shouldn’t put things into them that damages our bodies. But what about looking at it another way? We should enjoy eating. We should enjoy fellowship with others over a good meal.  (Really, really looking forward to Thanksgiving!) The pressure I  put on myself to be the same size as my “sick self”  isn’t fair to me or the One who created me. He healed me of my scariest  health ailment so why am I wishing that I was that Hollywood stick thin size? I  want to honor Him in all I say, think, and do. I am definitely a work in progress, but I will enjoy my turkey, sweet potatoes,  gluten free pumpkin pie, and cranberry salad this Thanksgiving  with my family!

Any thoughts?