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My Blog Story, Uncategorized

For The Love of God

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

This may or may not surprise many of you, but I don’t cry a lot. I really don’t know why because I would consider myself an emotional person. Correction… I don’t cry a lot, in PUBLIC. There is just something about how red my face gets… and how obvious it is that I was crying that I HATE. I don’t like attention, especially the thousand question type.

Recently I went to a leadership conference with the other staff members at our church. It was an awesome experience! There was an amazing speaker, incredible worship & I even had a chance to spend some time with my aunt and uncle who I do not get to see often. But, what I am about to share with you has nothing to do with the speakers, the worship or even anything to do with the programs at the conference.

This isn’t a, “I‘m going to vent” post. Its a story about compassion, love and the humble grace of our God that shines through His people, when I needed it most. When I least expected it. Its a story that brought me to my blubbering knees in a very venerable moment. For the first time since my accident, I felt loved by people who had no reason to love me. Love from people who didn’t have to have compassion, but chose to.

For those of you who do not know me well, I have a serious allergy to Wheat, and an intolerance to the gluten protein. I was in a very venerable state traveling away from home with very little “safe food” for 3 days in a row. This may seem silly to you, but if you are ever curious how a food allergy affects someones daily life, keep reading. God took this experience and brought me right down to my knees!

Before I tell you about my experience, I would like to share with you how people make me feel like a fabricated liar, so that I can help you stand in my shoes. I want you to feel the same experience I did just a few short weeks ago. I want you to walk with me with the hope that you can make the same impact on someone who is struggling just like me. Imagine getting sick every time you eat. Imagine people, who your food allergy has ZERO affect on, “genuinely” attack you, and try to justify your “fake” food allergy so that they can feel comfortable.

Bear with me as I take you back to the fall of 2016, a little over one year after my accident. I was suffering terribly from unknown health problems that caused me to get violently ill every single time I ate!

Lets talk about details, because I think it is important for those who walk around in ignorance to understand the severity of what my life is like. I often get asked, “what happens if you eat wheat?” Friends, let me tell you… its not just one thing, or something I can explain in a short sentence while I’m under pressure to convince you my problem is real.

The moment I swallow something that contains wheat (which seems to be everything under the sun these days) my throat starts to swell and my esophagus burns. Its tolerable at first, and could be wrongfully classified as heart burn. I actually thought I was suffering from severe heart burn for that entire first year. I would eat a bottle of TUMS at a time trying to diminish the problem. The burning then moves to my stomach, and nearly knocks me out. I would lay down (DAILY) for a 2 or 3 hour nap, sleeping off the pain my body was feeling. Its not a bodily pain like arthritis or something of that nature, think of the worst stomach ache you’ve ever felt… and multiply that by 10 (or 100).

I still remember the day that I called my mom and frantically told her that I thought I had a really bad ulcer (and dramatically thought I was going to die). LOL.

The one thing I knew for sure was that there was a direct correlation between when I ate and my slow death. I was looking for answers. (I was also poor and without health insurance… but we can talk about that another day.)

I had a small amount of knowledge on ulcers & knew there were foods that could make you sick if you indeed had an ulcer. So, I did what any normal human would do when they think they are going to die from an ulcer (I hope you can feel the humor…) I googled what foods to avoid. Spicy foods, caffeine, fried food, tomatoes, red sauces, refined sugars, citrus & fruit juice, omega 6 fatty acids, dairy, tea, chocolate, carbonation… GUYS THE LIST GOES ON… (P.s. if you have a tummy ulcer I will be praying for you! It really does sound worse than a food allergy!!)

As you could guess… I cut out most of these food items and there was absolutely no change. I remember being at a breaking point that summer. I called Jesse almost in tears. I made a whole wheat wrap with chicken, black beans, lettuce & avocado for lunch… THATS IT. I drank water and I felt like I was going to DIE. I thought… I’ll just never eat again. Either way I will die. (again… overly dramatic, but just at my wits end.) I was sick and tired of being sick and tired!

I will not tell you the whole story (we can save that for another day as well.) but, after a series of trial, error, lots of prayer & the grace of God, I came to a place where cutting out gluten saved my life… and not in a dramatic way… a very real and emotional way.

I spent a little over a year the sickest I’ve ever been in my entire life, and in one swift moment God saved me. He opened my eyes & served me the information I needed. He led me in the direction of healing, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that!!

BUT OH THE RIDICULE… my goodness the ridicule. People find it really hard to believe that a human could have a undiagnosed food allergy as an adult. FRIENDS, IT HAPPENS EVERY SINGLE DAY.  — think of the difficult life a person has lived for so very long, and the freedom they feel once it has been revealed. Why do we shoot straight to the negative and we are blinded by the positive?

I am the healthiest I have ever been in my entire life, and I am not sorry!

But it doesn’t matter, I still walk around any place that involves me eating food that Im not sure is safe, with my tail in-between my legs.

I spend a lot of time at church, so Im not saying that church people are bad people, they are actually some of the most amazing people that I’ve met! But I get this ridicule at church the most. Its one of the only places I find my self eating with other people. I can never sit down at a table without getting a million questions. Curiosity questions and questions of fabrication. I can’t just sit and relax and enjoy a meal… a meal that is supposed to bring people together… It has even gotten to the point where I sit down and I’m automatically in defense mode. THIS IS NOT ME… I do not like being this person. It gives me anxiety. It makes me fee like an outcast. It makes me feel zero love what-so-ever. Even from people trying to show me love. I get in defense from the constant ridicule. I found myself in a place where I couldn’t tell the difference between someone asking a loving question and someone just flat out being rude. —- guys… this is NOT OKAY!

Well… YOU GUESSED IT! At this conference I had to eat with people… ever single meal. Of course, I brought a lot of food with me (pbj, fruit, oatmeal, granola bars, fruit roll ups ;), I mean.. I was fed well.).

You know what gave me the most anxiety out of it all… Communion.

Just let all the emotions pour out on to the floor in front of me.

Luke 22:19 “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” “

One of my favorite “genuine” sayings that my churches friends toss my way is, “if you are taking communion for the Lord, won’t he heal you so you can take it?”

Okay friends… I’m glad you understand the healing power of God.

I have prayed for healing. I have been prayed for by friends, our church leadership, the prayer team. You name it, we have prayed.

But, I also think its important to understand that sometimes God uses the struggle to encourage, change and bring glory to His name & if my illness will do that for Him.. bring it on! Lord, Use me!

I was told that at this conference there would be gluten-free communion. It was a very encouraging moment for me, but I always wonder if the operators understand what it takes for it to be safe for those with a food allergy, an intolerance or celiac disease.

Friends, it wasn’t. I noticed right away. They only had one cup that the Italian bread and gluten-free wafers had to both dip in.  My heart still found peace. They cared. They tried their best. I already prepared my mind to go in line, grab a wafer discretely and walk away hoping no one notices. I mean I can’t be the only one right?

Let me tell you about my best friend, Becca. She was standing 2 people ahead of me. Becca is a lot like that protective sister we all wish we had. As we were standing in line, she turns to me and says, “Mauri… do NOT dip in the cup. It’s not safe.” My heart chuckled a little, but I truly loved every moment of having this amazing friend standing beside me to help ensure I don’t end up sick. (I just want to tell you, tears are welling up in my eyes right now as I try to configure my words.)

A few other members of our church were standing in the same line. Directly in front of me was our satellite pastors wife, Cassie. 

A we filtered up the line I had a million scenarios running though my mind. What if the woman holding the cup asks, how will I respond with love, not dipping in the cup. How will I show her gratitude without drawing attention to myself.  I truly wish that the only focus I sought was the Lord. Instead, anxiety began to set in.

We walked closer and closer. It was my friend Becca’s turn… and to my surprise, she grabbed a gluten-free wafer like it was nothing & walked away proudly like it was as normal as eating cake. No dip & not a care in the world. My heart sank.

Then it happened again. Cassie walked up right after Becca, without a care in the world, grabbed a gluten-free wafer, turned and walked away like it was nothing.

My eyes began to well. The Lord paved a way for me.

I didn’t have to explain, I didn’t have to feel embarrassed, I didn’t have to feel alone, the Lord used my church family to pave a way for me.

As I walked back to my seat, I began to process what just happened in front of my eyes.

I’m not sure that anyone would fully understand the emotion that overwhelmed me. Not even Becca & Cassie. I’m not even sure what led them to do what they did, but I fully trust that they had no idea how it would impact me.

As I reached my seat I broke down and cried, right there in front of everyone. Becca put her arm around me and asked if I was okay. I turned and looked at her and Cassie. The only words that I could configure was “that was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.” Becca said, “What? Take communion?” And chuckled. She said, “Mauri, it shouldn’t be that big of deal.” — and she’s right. It shouldn’t. Why do we make it such a big deal. Is it because we cant see what a gluten protein looks like? So we think its not real? Or is it because we don’t personally suffer from a food allergy, so we don’t believe it could happen? Is it because my allergy doesn’t hospitalize me? So that makes it not valid?

My husband eats gluten free, mainly to protect me. But these two women. They didn’t have to go before me. They didn’t have to take gluten-free communion. They could have enjoyed the Italian bread. They could have dipped in the juice. They could have walked away and never thought about it again. They didn’t have to notice my fear. They didn’t have to care. It wouldn’t have changed our friendship even the slightest.

But they did. They let the love of God shine through them. They let His grace pour out of their hearts on my soul. They allowed their lives, in a special moment, to be an answer to my prayer.

On a side note, these two women were so casual about it, I was even a little confused and had to ask if I really saw what I saw. They didn’t want recognition, or praise from me. They just did it. They walked with me, possibly without even knowing it. Maybe they just wanted to try it, not even for me, but just out of curiosity. Whatever the reason… It was confirmation that God still loves me. That he is still with me, and walking with me through this difficult season. It is confirmation that He will use this for good. It was confirmation that I don’t have to live in defense. It was confirmation that there are some people out there that just love. They don’t have to question everything that they don’t understand. Just love.

God is still working on my heart, but in the meant time, I’m truly bless to have friends in my life who love me for who I am.

Lord, thank you for this community. I am blessed by you!

My prayer is that this story can inspire you to show those love who you may not understand. You never know the battles they are facing & the impact your love could make on their life ❤

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Keep on smiling,

Mauri Kat

Breakfast Recipes, Uncategorized

Tropically Green

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Quick – Easy – Delicious BREAKFAST!!! Don’t let the color fool you. This nutrition packed smoothie TASTE SO GOOD I guarantee it is kid approved! Don’t believe me? Give it a try!

Tip: Chop and freeze your fruit in advanced. Then all you have to do is pull it out of the freezer & blend. Its so quick and easy you will never turn back.
-ONE HUGE SERVING-
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Gluten free – Dairy free
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Ingredients
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2 Cups of Water or Almond Milk (You may need to add more if it is too thick … I did)
1 Cup Fresh Mango, Chopped (We Chopped fresh & put 1 serving bags in the freezer)
1/2 Cup Fresh Pineapple (Same as mango. Frozen works too. I like frozen better!)
2 Cups Fresh Spinach
1 Banana, Frozen (Peel & cover with plastic wrap or you will regret it LOL)
.
Directions
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Add all ingredients in your blender or Nutri Bullet. Blend until super smooth and creamy. You want the spinach to be blended WELL. Tip. If your blender isn’t high speed, add one frozen fruit at a time to the mix. This prevents chucks!
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Health Benifit
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8g Protein
66g Carbohydrates (The good ones  😉 )
50% DV Fiber
6g Good Fat <- Yes your body needs that too!
50% DV Potassium
100% DV Vitamin A
100% DV Vitamin C
100% DV Calcium
50% DV Iron

(DV – Daily Value)

Tip: Chop and freeze your fruit in advanced. Then all you have to do is pull it out of the freezer & blend. Its so quick and easy you will never turn back.

Smile =) Life is GOOD!

-Mauri

Daily Devotions, Uncategorized

Mental Health Awareness

If I could give you one piece of advice in this life it would be to take care of your mental health first and foremost!

This will be more important than anything I ever tell you 

My life changed drastically 3 years ago when I met my mentor Susan Sellman. Why? Because she asked me to do a few simple things every day to work on ME… and although she was my health and wellness coach, she wasn’t asking me to lift weights or go for a run, she was asking me to exercise my mental health. My personal development.

I’ve never been a huge reader or sitter for that matter, so it was like pulling teeth to get me to sit down and read a book.. but LISTEN… IT CHANGED MY LIFE!!

I went from hopeless to full of life in a matter of weeks!

The book in the picture was given to me by my pastor just before Christmas this year. It is a daily devotional. It has one short, but inspiring message for each day of the year. — Read it, apply it & let it change your life 

If you like reading here are a few book suggestions I can give you that will be a game changer for 2018 in your heart, mind and soul!!

Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me
Book by Alexandra Kuykendall

Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
(THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING!!)

Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
by Dr. Caroline Leaf

How to live and not die
by Norvel Hayes

Broken Chains: Restored and Redeemed Paperback
by Women’s Power Surge Publishing
(Only because I am one of the authors 😉 lol )

Don’t let another year go by!! Start working on your heart NOW, and a world of life will change around you!! Personal Development is an important key to life no matter where you are! Don’t be afraid to give it a try 

Love you girls!! Find a reason to smile in every single day!!

Health Blog, Uncategorized

Is Content Okay?

content

Its been a long journey. A few too many years on the diet train. Doing this workout, that workout. Setting goals, reaching goals, & falling back to start all over again. I’ve tried it all, counting calories, excessive cardio, energy supplements, at home workouts, professional goal setting. But what really worked for me?

My life changed drastically 2 years ago when I was introduced to the company “Team Beachbody”. (if you’re like me you will let that word shut you off & close this post… please, keep reading.) — truly I find this name an oxymoron as funny as that sounds. AND I hate that word “Beachbody” because the way our bodies look is completely missing the point!!!!

After years of trying to “take care of myself” I knew there was something missing. If God is the center of my life, that means my entire life!! Not just bits and peaces of it… so he must be the center of my health and fitness as well. I didn’t know the answer, but I was desperately seeking it.

REWIND<<<

Three years ago, a girl from a neighboring town messaged me on Facebook about this fitness group that she was running. She invited me to join her & all the fun they were having. Community.  Let me just tell you I THOUGHT this was a DREAM COME TRUE!! A group of like minded women all in one place…. HEAVEN!!

But it wasn’t heaven. I was on my walk with Jesus, learning the ropes of how to apply my Christ following faith in all the areas of my life & realized very quickly that this style of “fitness accountability” was not for me… derailing the Team Beachbody name in my book!!

Let me explain… This online group appeared to me like a competition. The girls would perform their workout & post a sports bra “sweaty selfie”. Like… how do you look so good after a workout?? They would show off the abs a little, show off how well they ate for the day, it was all very showy!! There was no realness. It seemed staged, beautiful & orderly. That. Was not. My. Life!

I always try to give people a chance. So, I messaged my new friend and asked her if I could give her some suggestions. With her permission I let her know what made me uncomfortable, and how I thought her group could be more successful. Now, I know I may not have been right, but I knew there had to be something more!! Where does God fall in all of this? and not in a Jesus freak kind of way… A, God made this body, He must be interested in helping me take care of it. Right?

You know, in my mind i thought… what if we were praying for one another?? imagine what kind of goals we could reach!! How many people would actually succeed instead of tossing in the towel if we were to press into Jesus instead of hiding and living to impress. The broken could actually be healed instead of reaching empty goals, and still finding a void a in our hearts. Something I have done more times than I would like to admit!

Unfortunately, my new friend was not ready for my comment. Maybe I didn’t approach it in the right way, but it was very clear that she was uncomfortable with my suggestions. She was honest and told me she believed in God, but she was still finding her way. Ok, I get it… I probably sounded C-RAH-AZY to her.

So, time passed, and I continued to eagerly search for the answer.

I met my dear friend Susan, and began a new journey of health and fitness with this “oxymoron” of a company “Team Beachbody”.

God began to teach me how to properly fuel my body. He exposed the strong holds I had in this area, and showed me how to dispel the lies I was believing, the lies that held me captive. This was through the right community of people with my eagerness to please God. Let me share with you what I learned:

Those of you who have been following me for a some time now, have heard me say over and over again, “How can I go into the world and share the good news of Jesus, if I am not healthy and whole?”

This is one of those “practice what you preach” kind of things! When your mind set changes from selfish and vein reasons, to selfless sacrifice to fulfill Gods purpose for your life, your world changes!!

It is no longer about what the scale says, or fitting into that old pair of jeans. Its about taking care of this gift God has given you called life!

Now you ask.. what does this have to do with contentment??

I’ve reached a point in my journey where God has revealed to me the “I’m ready” stage. Over and over again He says to me, “Mauri you are ready. Go into the world and share the good news!”

SO, I ask you. Is there a place for contentment in your health, nutrition & fitness journey? Are you allowed to love yourself where you are? Are you allowed to not care about a number on a scale? Are you allowed to not have any specific weight, food or fitness goals? Are you allowed to look at yourself in the mirror and love who you are… for the first time in your entire life?????

Content: in a state of peaceful happiness.

I see this over and over and over again. You reach a goal… so whats next? What is the next level? What is the next step? When is enough enough? Goals are not bad, but I do think it is important to recognize that you are perfectly loved, beautiful & important right where you are!

The health & fitness world makes it sound COMPLETELY WRONG to be content with where you are. There is this constant NEED to continue to improve at great lengths and never find satisfaction in where you are. That by looking in the mirror and loving who you are right in this moment means something is wrong with you. There is a form of conceit formed by the world in contentment. This is satan’s LIE!

I want to be very clear, I am NOT telling you to go back to your bad habits & begin abusing the body God gave you. Self care is a lifetime journey (as cliche as that sounds). Not a 3 week solution to a life time problem.

What I am saying is that we must reach a point where we no longer hate the journey. We must reach a point where we need to first love ourselves, to truly love others. We must find LOVE first and realize that happiness is perfectly OKAY!!

You DO NOT need to look like that lady on the magazine to be happy! You do not need to mirror the woman next door, to enjoy life!

I have found through this walk with Christ, that we must find contentment in where we are. Otherwise, when all is said and done, we will still be empty at the “finish line”.

I have been ashamed to share my journey lately, because I LOVE where I am. I don’t have any specific goals that I want to reach, just continual maintenance training my Godliness while I train my earthly body to go into the world & share the good news. And that is perfectly okay!! I know that as I am ready, God will reveal areas in my walk that need work, but there is nothing wrong with being content where you are. Being proud of yourself for how far you’ve come & loving the journey!

I feel like today you need to know, you are ALLOWED to love yourself right where you are! You are allowed to be content in your journey ❤

That does not mean you stop working on lowering your cholesterol or breaking your addiction to sugar, it just means that you are finding contentment in the journey. You are joyfully praising God in the sun, in the snow & in the rain. You are taking care of the blessing God has given you called life with a joyful and open heart. Not grudgingly, but happily.

Content: in a state of peaceful happiness.

Smile this morning, because you are so loved! Smile because you are able. Smile because you are strong & smile because you are worthy! Gods grace wins every time!

-Mauri Katherine

 

Daily Devotions, Uncategorized

When the Storm Rushes In

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Its been quiet on the home front over here. I don’t know if its called writers block or a growing period, but the silence is not silence at all. My mind has been racing a million miles a minute, but expression of words will not come out. Until now that is.

Ive sat down at this computer several times over the last week thinking… “ok God, what do you want from me? How will you use me to day to lift others, encourage them & show them the light in darkness?”

Its one of those things where you want to share the joy, the good news of freedom, but when you are experiencing depression yourself, you often wonder, how can I help others when I myself don’t have it figured out.

This is where the cliche “take up your cross daily” comes in!  No seriously! The secret isn’t to have it figured out. The secret isn’t defeating depression or finding happiness that lasts a life time. It is waking up each and every single morning choosing Joy, choosing Gods way instead of the ways of the world. It is waking up each morning and taking up your cross (a death instrument symbolizing freedom) & pressing forward, trusting that God is in control. Trusting Gods word Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Knowing that God will walk with you through every storm and every victory.

Just over the last 7 days, many of my depression symptoms have started to creep back in. OH THE QUESTIONS… Am I good enough? Should I just give up? Is it worth it? When will this storm end? And then self deteriorating statements… I’m not smart enough. I can’t do this. I don’t want to get out of bed.

This thing called depression creeps in like a shadow at dusk. You don’t ask for it. You don’t know its coming. Just one day you wake up and BAM… Your brain functions flips like a switch. You sleep in a little more and a little more each day. You let small obstacles defeat you. You don’t want to hangout with your friends or even be out side. Then you begin to think you aren’t enough. That you will never be enough & that your efforts are worthless.

THESE ARE ALL LIES OF THE DECEIVER!!!! Satan, I commend you to leave in the name of Jesus Christ the messiah, the son of God! 

Step 1 to taking up your cross… call out satan’s lies & defeat them with the word of God!!

Guys! Jesus set the example!! He showed us how to defeat!

Matthew 4:1-11 “ Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written:  [Defeating satan with Gods word!!]  ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down.

For it is written: (Satan trying to use Gods word out of context)

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57

“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom. 8:37

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” 1 Pet. 5:8-9

“Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair. Why aren’t we protected from satan’s attack? Doesn’t God care about us?

The truth is, WE ARE PROTECTED! God loves us so much, he gave us an entire book teaching us how to defeat satan. He has given us AMPLE amounts of information on HOW to rebuke satan. God loves us so much, He is with us even when we don’t know how to fight.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Counter every lie satan has ever told you with truth:

When your past begins to haunt you : I am a new creature in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You are useless : It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

You’re not good enough : I can do all things through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:13)

You’ll never measure up : I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ for good works. (Ephesians 2:10)

Google “satan’s lies & Gods truth” for more scriptures to help you defeat the lies that are pressing in on you!

As I lay in bed this morning, about to WAY over sleep, I had to remind myself that I am good enough. That I was not put on this earth to just take up space and die. God made me specifically me for a SPECIFIC purpose. Just like God made YOU specifically YOU for a purpose. Your purpose may be drastically different from mine and that is WAY OKAY! God needs all of his people in different corners of this earth to share his love and joy! We can’t all be in the same place with the same mission at the same time ❤ that wouldn’t make sense.


This is me showing up to help encourage through the darkness. This is me taking up my cross & letting our savior’s light shine. This is me showing you, that WE cannot do it alone. We need God’s grace. We need our savior to make a way for us. This is me opening my eyes! Remembering that I need to pick up my cross daily. Not just one and done. DAILY!

Never forget to smile ❤ you are worth it!

-Mauri Katherine

Health Blog, Uncategorized

Excuses Demolished

If you say tomorrow tomorrow will never come. The right moment to begin will never come. Once you have more time, once you have more space, better weather, more money.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

🤝 happy Friday friends19030374_1094012620731602_6315260946493106277_n

Health Blog, Uncategorized

Vegetarian Fad Diet

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My Opinion On The Vegan / Vegetarian Fad Diet

First of all, what is a vegetarian? I can’t get all these words straight? Vegan, Vegetarian, Lacto-Veg, Ovo-Veg, Lacto-Ovo Veg, OH MY! #lionsAndTigersANDbears

What is a fad diet? What is a diet? What is the purpose? IM SO CONFUSED!?!?

Meat was always a fun subject in the Wilson house hold. Here is why… As a very young girl, almost too young to remember, my weekly & monthly Dr. visits were a pretty regular thing. Not because I had a deadly illness, not because I was accident prone or because my immune system wasn’t strong, but because my parents couldn’t figure out why I wouldn’t eat meat.

The Dr.s had to give me iron shots to supplement my mac’n cheese diet.

Once when asked, I told my mother that I didn’t eat meat, “because it got stuck in my teeth”. (I’m not gonna lie, I’m a super flosser even to this day. But there’s more to the story).

There were on and off days for many years to come. I had sleep overs at my friends house in elementary school. Depending on the day, and how hungry I was, determined how desperate I was to eat what their families cooked.

I spent many days and evenings with one friend in particular. Her father was a very skilled hunter. He always had deer meat, different bird varieties, and many other varieties of food at dinner time. I remember going to bed hungry most nights I spent over there, but her mother was a smart and compassionate woman. She caught on to my eating patterns and started keeping grilled cheese supplies on hand for when I made my appearances.

I’m sure this was EXTREMELY frustrating for my own mother. Probably even a little bit embarrassing too.

It was in 6th grade when I first learned what a vegetarian was. I didn’t know there was a “category” I belonged in… I didn’t know there was a “label” to be placed on my forehead. There weren’t smartphones or easily accessible internet. Most homes didn’t have a computer, and if they did, “google” wasn’t made into a verb yet.

It was lunch hour at Durant Middle School. The sixth grade’s turn in the cafeteria and hot dogs were on the menu. On occasion, I would find loose change in our couch and buy snacks from the vending machine instead of eating form the lunch line. This particular day, I only had my lunch card and I was starving!

I never really liked hot dogs, but in desperate times, I would eat them. This is one of those days. I hopped in the lunch line, and waited my turn. Im going to be honest, I don’t remember a single other food that was on my plate. All I remember is that hot dog, staring me in the eye. I figured, if I put enough ketchup on it, maybe I wouldn’t notice that it was a hot dog.

I went back to my seat ready to dig in. My VERY BEST FRIEND sitting directly to my right decided that this was a GREAT day to explain to me, in great detail, what hot dogs were made out of.

Have you ever heard bad news, and got sick to your stomach IMMEDIATELY? Well… to a 6th grader, this was devastating. My lunch was ruined on the spot. I didn’t know if I wanted to cry, throw up or go on a mission to save all the pigs on planet earth.

Now this might sound silly to most of you… but my world came crashing down.

A few moments later, I heard the voice of an angle beam from a few seats down. I don’t remember her name, and I don’t remember her face, but she said in one dainty whisper, “thats why I’m a vegetarian”.

THIS GIRL WAS MY NEW BEST FRIEND!! But… we all know how middle schoolers are…. Then I was the “copy cat” because I wanted to be a “vegetarian” and the pivotal moment of my existence was with this girl telling me that she simply chooses not to eat it. LIKE SERIOUSLY?? YOU ARE ALLOWED TO DO THAT?

OK so lets take a moment think about the age 11. Do kids usually get to pick what they eat? Or does mom make meals (maybe with a small consensus) and they eat what she puts on the dang table?

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with 3 brothers and sisters. NOT eating meat at this point wasn’t an option. I was old enough to know the consequences (dreaded Iron shots) and I knew I had to eat what my mother placed on the table or this girl was going to bed hungry.

Still, in the back of my mind I wondered, how did that girl from school not have to eat meat AND not have to see a doctor.

As I’ve aged, I’ve gone through many internal battles on the subject. The typical American diet includes some sort of animal product with every single meal. MOST American diets include VERY FEW Whole Foods – and 90% of kids ONLY source of vegetable is the potato, in the form of a French fry!!! (Fun fact if you didn’t already know).

Eating veggies and WHOLE foods, is just as important as getting COMPLETE protein in your body for MANY MANY MANY reasons.

Yes, you can live a full life from eating meat. You are eating something, that ate the greens for you. BUT why not get the nutrients straight from the source? (just a thought)

Really… It is MUCH MUCH easier to let the cow eat the grass, and then we can just eat the cow.

Anyways, thats a-whole-nother topic I’ll save for a different day.

My point? I knew there had to be a way to make this vegetarian life style work, but I just didn’t fully know how. I tried several times and failed due to lack of nutrients. I just didn’t feel right. (I also had a undiscovered gluten intolerance which made eating very hard for YEARS) For example… Veggie burgers made me SO SO SICK. It turns out… they bind some of them with wheat products… humm….

It wants until 6 years ago (age 22), when I took the initiative to research what nutrients your body needs to thrive and survive.

I have notebooks and notebooks full of information that ultimately gave me the freedom to choose what lifestyle I wanted to lead, and how it would affect my future.

So now let me answer some of the crazy questions I promoted you with in the beginning.

First of all, what is a vegetarian?

By Google definition: a vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons.

I can’t get all these words straight?

Let me help you

Vegan – a person who does not eat or use animal products.

Lacto-Veg -do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or eggs. However, lacto-vegetarians do consume dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt.

Ovo-Veg – do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or dairy products. However, ovo-vegetarians do consume egg products.

Lacto-Ovo Veg – Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not consume red meat, white meat, fish or fowl. However, lacto-ovo vegetarians do consume dairy products and egg products. This is the most common type of vegetarian.

OH MY! #lionsAndTigersANDbears

So now, if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering… WHAT CATEGORY DO I CLASSIFY MYSELF WITH?

I don’t.

I don’t put a label on it. I don’t claim to be a vegetarian, a vegan or an animal activist.

I live my life to best of my ability. I act on the things that I feel led to stand for, spend a lot of time in prayer, and trust that God made me who I am for a very specific reason.

Something that we have to realize as humans, is that everyones convictions are different. Everyones purpose on earth is very very different. Compassion is never a bad thing. Especially when it is gifted from God!  I would never judge someone for eating meat, and I expect the same respect when I choose not to. God changes our hearts one moment at a time for a reason.

We all have a different purpose, and a different section of this earth that our lives need to impact.

With that being said… my personal choice to not eat meat, especially when I don’t know where it came from, is a conviction that I’ve struggled with since I was a very young child. It is imbedded in who I am. If I had all day, I could tell you story upon story about moments in time when I was almost in tears over having to eat meat… or the first time I was served a rotisserie chicken. But I do know, that nobody cares LOL.

Through rational conversations, extended research, and many many hours of biblical intervention, I have discovered that the food I put in my body is MY choice. So, I choose to be specific on the quality, quantity and morality. I choose to not support the mass meat market. I choose a plant based life style I have the resources to supply. This life style is 100% about the resources available to the person!! I would highly advise against a plant based diet to someone who does not have the proper variety needed to thrive!

SO MOVING ON….

What is a fad diet?

A fad diet is a diet that promises quick weight loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet.

What is a diet?

The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

What is the purpose?

YES, veganism, or vegetarianism can be used in a bad way. It can be used as a “fad diet” to loose weight quick. Basically the idea is, if you FULLY restrict your diet to only lettuce and carrots, you’re going to lose weight. DUH… you’re starving yourself! Try restricting your diet to only potato chips and ketchup… same results.

WHEN I SAY DIET —- I just mean your lifestyle choice. People who eat fast food every day… they have a “fast food diet”… Its as simple as that. Diet doesn’t declare restriction or determine weight loss, it simply describes what you put in you body regularly weather it be good or bad.

I want to make this one last statement before I say goodnight. If you are eating “vegetarian” to solely lose weight. I would HIGHLY suggest to reconsider. This is why: If you restrict your diet just to simply lose weight, it might work. Then what happens when you get sick of eating that way, and go back to eating how you used to. YOU GUESSED IT… you will pack the lbs right back on.

What I would suggest for you instead, is to start being mindful about what you eat and when. Take a moment to think, “is food controlling me?”. There is a chance, if you try to give up… say… refined sugar for only a day or two… and you cant do it. Food probably has a controlling factor on you, which is the source of your problem. NOT the fact that you’re eating meat.

When food starts to control your brain, you can easily eat an extra 1,000 calories a day, that your body doesn’t need… with out you even noticing! Quick breakfast through the drive through, Snacks at work, take out for lunch, rich sugary drinks and extra large dinners (maybe even a midnight snack). It all adds up.

To wrap this thing up… Keep in mind, there are many other reason to seek a vegetarian diet other than conviction and fad dieting… most very valid and purposeful reasons.

This is in NO way a message to put anyone down. My hope is to share, and inform.

I wanted to share my own personal testimony, and encourage those who feel lost, confused or curious.

From one simple human being to another,

I hope you have a spectacular night… and never forget to keep smiling =)

 

-Mauri

Health Blog, Uncategorized

Vegan Chilli

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Making my favorite dish in the whole world… Vegan Chilli!!! 😛 Why vegan? CAUSE ITS GOOD DUH! 

I get a lot of hate about my wanna be vegan diet, but I say… you can never have too much compassion! You can’t knock it until you try it!!

Recipe:

1 can tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 can petit diced tomato (no salt added)
1 can of corn
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 chopped red pepper (add at the end for a crunch)
1 cup of white instant rice (you can do brown rice if you have time to pre cook!)
2 packages of McCormick Gluten Free Chili Seasoning
A PINCH of cayenne pepper if you dare ;x

MIX & BRING TO A SIMMER …. ENJOY!

= BEST CHILI EVER!

I HOPE THIS MAKES YOU SMILE AS MUCH AS IT DOES ME =D,

-MAURI

Daily Devotions, My Blog Story

Usually More Is Said Than Done

My VERY FIRST blog name was “You’re Killin’ Me Smile” tagged “When all is said & done, usually more is said than done.”

This stemmed from my journey through life searching for my Joy. I went through a series of horrific events that put me in a very deep and dark place. Long story short, I found out my boyfriend of a year and a half was cheating on me & lied to me about almost everything under the sun. While I was trying to sort that situation out, I was bit by a dog that broke my Ulna in several places which put me out of a job. I was helpless, potentially in $20,000 worth of  hospital bill debt & had no place to go. Psstt… Gods Grace SAVED ME FROM IT ALL! (Ill share that story another day). I lived on my own with many, MANY BILLS to pay. Until this moment I was independent and rarely needed to ask anyone for help. So, not only was my heart broken in pieces, I was in serious financial shambles & almost 100% helpless.

God did a number on me that year. He managed to pick me up from pure depression to a light that shines, even in the dark.

My blog title perfectly depicted where I was in that moment of time. My outlet? Blogging. So, when I decided to purchase my own domain & do this thing for real, I couldn’t help but keep those very important aspects which describe me perfectly =) <– THIS is why I sign each blog posts with “Keep on smiling!” (Or something of that sort).

No matter what life throws your way NEVER let anyone or anything steal your joy! It was a long and slow journey finding my joy again. I let someone who didn’t deserve even small part of me, steal every ounce of joy I had & if I had any joy left after that… I let my circumstance steal the rest of it.

I was able to share this story more deeply in my previous blog, and will soon share it with you all as well.

HOWEVER, God showed me the blessing in the shamble. One of the most miraculous moments in my life was finding my Joy through the promises of Jesus Christ! I HATED the word promise! All my life I was led to believe that a promise was just a word. An empty word. People always made huge promises to me, with little to no action behind it. So the tag stuck, “When all is said and done, usually more is said than done”… but in creating MauriKatherine.com I knew there was more to it that just that. I used that tag line because through my blog, I wanted to share WHY God was the exception. That with all of the empty promises we have been left with here on earth, Gods promises are never changing, applicable TODAY & that God ALWAYS keeps his promises. I want to encourage women who have been left in the dark like I was. I want to show them that there IS ANOTHER WAY. There IS life again!

So now my tag, along with the new beginning of MauriKatherine.com, reads “When all is said and done, usually more is said than done. I am changing that!

My mission is to change that stereotype… I know I cannot change the empty promises of the world, but I can share the divine promises of God & how His grace saved me from a world of darkness! Through HIM YOU CAN FIND FREEDOM TOO!

So, when all is said and done, SMILE!! You are worth it!!!

With love,

Mauri Katherine