Archive | June 2015

Use Your Zoodle!

veggettiI’ve discovered a new trend in veggies—zoodles!  Never heard of them?  Zoodles are zucchini noodles and they are made with a nifty gadget called a spiralizer.  Spiralizers, such as the Veggetti (as seen on TV and which is what I have) can be a simple little tool that costs as little as $10 or $15, or be a little more complicated, counter-top, crank-handled contraption that sells for up to $50 or more.  And spiralizers aren’t just for zucchini.  Oh, no!  Besides zoodles, you can make spoodles (sweet potato noodles), or simply oodles of noodles from carrots, squash, white potatoes, apples, cucumbers and a dozen other firm vegetables and fruits.  And you’ll have to admit—whether you’re twisting or cranking, making long, twisty, curly strands of veggies is just plain fun and easy!spiralizer

Now, how do you use your zoodles?  You’ll find recipes for all kinds of zoodle dishes, from zoodle spaghetti and meatballs to chicken zoodle soup, zoodle ramen, shrimp scampi with zoodles, spoodle curly fries, spiralized cucumber salad, zoodle stir-fry, apple zoodle crisp—well, all manner of salads, soups, main dishes, pasta salads, slaws, appetizers, sides, appetizers, desserts, garnishes… Zoodles can be boiled, roasted, baked, sautéed or eaten raw.  Dare I say—be creative and use your noodle to use your zoodles!

I have a new-found passion for veggies these days.  I have been trying to eat healthier and for the last nine months have cut nearly all pasta, potatoes, rice and bread from my diet.  The result has been super-good control of my diabetes for the first time in 22 years of having this disease, and a slow but steady weight loss.  After months of this lifestyle change in the way I ate, though, things were starting to become a little—no, a lot—boring.  I did not want to get discouraged and give up, so I started looking for new ways to add some pizzazz to my diet.

The first thing I found was cauliflower crust pizza (a little labor intensive in “ricing” the cauliflower, but surprisingly tasty, and satisfied my craving for pizza) and other cauliflower recipes (faux potato salad, mashed potates, popcorn…)  Then I found zoodles, and suddenly veggies like cauliflower, zucchini, and squash were my new best friends!  I am enjoying cooking again—finding new and really different recipes and coming up with my own creations.  And of course, I am especially enjoying the new variety in my diet instead of the same ol’, same ol’ menu day after day, week after week.  I feel happy, too, that I am eating good, healthy, guilt-free meals—the way God intends us to eat.

I am not one to jump on the health kick wagon and start preaching to everyone else about how they should eat or live now that I have found this one little change that has made a difference to me.  Goodness knows I have struggled with this my entire life and usually not succeeded in the battle.  But I am convicted that God does want us to eat healthy and ashamed that I have failed miserably in that so often.  I would like to share just a few of the verses from Scripture that speak to caring for our bodies and eating the way we ought.  And let me say, the only one I am pointing a finger at is myself!  Let’s read them together and let the Holy Spirit convict where He may:

And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. (Proverbs 23:2)  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty… (Proverbs 23:21)  This is God’s warning to us about gluttony, and as hard as it is to admit, sometimes we are just gluttons!  I hate that label.  It brings shame (Proverbs 28:7), it signifies a lack of self-control, and it leads to the poverty of ill health, low self-esteem and yes, even wasteful spending.  I don’t want to be known as a glutton; I don’t want to be a glutton!  The next time I am at a potluck or party I hope I will remember that before Ioading my plate to overflowing!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22, 23)  I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)  Having self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit.  When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will exercise that self-control and not give in to the lust of the flesh—the desire to over-indulge in that which is not good for us.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)  The Bible tells me that as a believer, my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I am bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, and His Spirit indwells me.  He wants our temple to be healthy and beautiful for Him—bringing glory to God.  I do not have the right to defile my body—it is His.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others I myself should become disqualified. (I Corinthians 9:27)  We are a testimony to others, as well.  Like it or not, how we appear to others influences them as to whether or not they will want to hear or respect our testimony.  I do not want my lack of self control to be a stumbling block to others.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)  This is our whole purpose in life—to bring glory to our Creator!  May we as His new creation, be beautiful, most certainly on the inside, but to the best of our abilities, on the outside, as well.

 

And I can’t leave you this week without sharing my favorite simple, quick and easy zoodle recipe (so far!):

Almond Zoodles Parmigiano

2 small zucchini                                        Zoodles, Almonds and Parmesan

garlic salt

pepper

shredded parmesan cheese

sliced or slivered almonds

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Make spiralized zucchini noodles and spread out on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and sliced almonds.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

To turn this into a main dish—Simply add shredded leftover chicken to zoodles, then season and add cheese and almonds, and bake. Makes a beautiful light lunch!

 

 

 

 

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Miracles, Memories and Mom

It’s been eighteen months since I last wrote on Sundays with Cindy. After five years of sharing my life and thoughts and Scripture, I set aside my blog for a time to take care of other pressing needs.  I did not mean to take so long to return to it, but I have been feeling the conviction in my heart lately that it is time to obey His voice and come back to my own little corner of ministry.  And so I take up my pen—er, laptop—and well—let’s get on with it!

Welcome back!  I’m excited to be here again, and I hope if you have been a follower of Sundays with Cindy, that you are, too!  I’m sure you’ve noticed that there is a new look to the site (which I love!) but it’s still the same ol’ me.  If you are new to my blog, the premise of Sundays with Cindy is this:  Each week I use something that has occurred that week in my life, or the life of someone I love, or even in the nation or world, as inspiration for a devotion from God’s Word.  I have been blessed by writing and sharing these things, and I pray my readers have been blessed as well.  You can catch up on all my past blogs by exploring the archives listed in the sidebar on this page.  If you would like to know a little of my background, please check out “About.”  And feel free to leave a comment and share with me, too!  I would love it!

Today is Father’s Day.  This day cannot pass without me remembering my own dad who went to be with the Lord twelve years ago this week.   I miss him, but there is no hurt anymore at losing him.  From the time he left us, we have praised God for sparing him pain and suffering and rejoiced that he is in Heaven, enjoying its glories and awaiting the rest of us there.  There is a smile on my face as I pull out the memories of him from my childhood, my teen years, and the support and encouragement he always gave me as an adult.  How he loved his children and grandchildren—and great-grandchildren!  How he loved my mother!  I thank my Heavenly Father for the wonderful earthly father He gave me!  (I shared more about my dad in the June 2009 archives.)  I do not go to the cemetery often, but when I do, it is not to mourn my father, but to remember him and honor him and thank God for giving him to me.  Deuteronomy 5:16 says, “Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee…”  Thank you, Lord, for the sweet memories I have of my father!

When I left you eighteen months ago, my mother had just gone into the hospital.  It turns out she had cancer and some very serious heart issues.  After surgery and chemotherapy, eight months later the cancer was gone and the heart issues are under control.  God is gracious and good all the time and through the difficult times we had last year, He was always faithful and loving and walking beside us.  He tells us in I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  I am so grateful for this extra time we have with her now!

Probably the most momentous things that have happened in our lives since last I left you are the wonderful changes that have been happening in our sweet Robbie’s life!  I had already told you that after twelve years of been nourished through a feeding tube and never having a morsel of food or drink in his mouth, Robbie got his “swallow” back and suddenly was able to eat again, on a limited scale!  He has progressed from yogurt and pudding and jello to things like scrambled eggs, beans, and spaghetti (cut very fine.)  He still cannot handle liquids or things that have to be chewed a lot, and we still use the feeding tube for most of his meals, but it is such a miracle to us to see our boy once again enjoying one of the very basic things of life that we all enjoy—food!  In the last year we have also begun to wean him off of some of the old drugs he took for his severe seizures and introduce some of the newer drugs that seem to have fewer harmful side effects and work better.  As a result, we are seeing a new, alert, excited, lively, happy Robbie!  What a joy to see shades of our “old” Robbie returning!

One of the greatest surprises happened just this week and it truly was a miracle!  I was in the kitchen and Bob was standing at the dining room table.  Robbie was sitting on the couch in the living room.  Bob glanced over at Robbie—and there was our son standing straight and tall all by himself and grinning from ear to ear!  Robbie has not stood on his own since July of 2001—fourteen years ago!  Since then we have had to hold him up and steady him, since he has no balance or strength in his legs, and the last few years he has stood hunched over while he clings to us.  To see him standing on his own was like seeing a ghost of the old Robbie.

“Robbie!” Bob exclaimed and rushed over to him, to catch him if he should fall.  (The back of his legs were against the couch which was steadying him.)  Robbie saw him coming toward him and sat down quickly as if, “Oh-oh!  I’m in trouble now!”  He was not in trouble, of course.  We were thrilled, but at the same time scared.  If he were to fall against a piece of furniture, he could maim or kill himself.  But praise God!  Is this the first step in Robbie regaining his strength and someday being able to stand or maybe even walk on his own???

Robbie standing on his own, so straight and tall, reminds me of the story of the lame man in Acts 3.  Verses 1-10 tell us, “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.”

The people were “filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.”  That is exactly how I felt about Robbie suddenly standing after fourteen years!  The rest of chapter 3 goes on to tell us that Peter and John used this as an instrument to share Jesus Christ as the Savior to the crowd gathered there that day.  Acts 4:4 then tells us, “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.”  What a testimony that Jesus has the power to not only heal our physical infirmities in such a miraculous fashion, but to save us from sin miraculously as well!

God still works miracles today.  Some big miracles like the one I shared today; many times little miracles that we recognize as a “God thing.”  We need to share them with others as a testimony to God’s greatness and power and as an instrument to share the Good News of the Gospel.

And so Sundays with Cindy is back.  Sometimes to relate the more significant events in my life, other times to share the little things, but hopefully to find something each week to encourage, edify or simply bless each of us through His Word.  And it’s so good to be back!