Tag Archives: fruit

It’s Your Season, It’s Your Purpose

iGnite - living with purpose

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with defining or finding your purpose, feel confused about your life, or feel fearful that there isn’t enough time left to do what you want to do?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Since moving to San Diego, my life has drastically changed and taken a 180 degree turn. I do not yet have any friends here, and except for taking Durant and Malaine to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and tending to my iGnite responsibilities and duties from afar, I don’t have any commitments either. I won’t lie, when talking to the iGnite leaders, family, and friends and occasionally peeking at Facebook and Instagram, I experience bittersweet emotions. It stinks to be on the outside looking in, missing out and not able to take part in what I’ve created in iGnite in Austin. I have also experienced extreme withdrawals from my addictions: the “being busy addiction,” “having places to go addiction,” and the “feeling needed and wanted” addiction. There are times when my ego screams so loud that I find myself taken over with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to busy myself just so I can feel important and accomplished again. Then, finally, it dawned on me that not only was my evil ego in my way, but what I was really struggling with the most was my purpose.

With the help of Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and business coach, reminding me that our society inundates women with the destructive message that if we aren’t working 60 hours a week, involved in a million organizations, committed to regularly volunteering, acting as the home-room mom, and only taking two-weeks of maternity leave, or just tending to our own or our family’s and community’s needs, that we aren’t enough. Pu-lease! Don’t get me wrong, I believe in having a passion and purpose outside of our family, but not at the expense of jeopardizing our marriages, not being a present mom to our children and neglecting our relationships. Looking back, while living in Austin I definitely tip-toed into those zones and was drinking the toxic Kool-Aid. This is my destructive tendency, and I have to consistently check myself to make sure I am being counter-culture.

It has been a very long time since I have wondered about my purpose. While living in Austin, my family, friends and iGnite were absolutely my purpose and they kept my heart pumping fast and hard. Originally, I thought starting iGnite in San Diego would be my first purpose-filled project, but now I’m not so sure about that. For now, I’m declaring that I am on a prayerful, peaceful, intentional purpose-finding mission project. I’ve narrowed my purpose down to:

  1. Learning how to become a fully-attentive, loving and supportive wife to Russell (which is hard to admit because of my strong will, pride and independence)
  2. Appreciating this colorful and unique time I have with our preschool-age children and being a fully attentive and fun mother.
  3. Remotely supporting and leading the iGnite team, the iGnite members and our efforts to iGnite Austin and impact, inspire and empower every woman to live a healthy and purpose-filled life.
  4. Taking the time to get on my knees everyday and pray for myself, my family, my friends, iGnite and anyone I know who is in need of prayers or who I told I would pray for them. While I am a faithful person, embarrassingly my prayer life has been pathetic, and I’m tired of being lip-service only. Please let me know if and how I can pray for you. Seriously!
  5. Becoming involved with our church, The Rock, and serving the San Diego community.

I must confess that while I’m feeling content with my new purpose in San Diego, there is sooooo much I want to do in my life! For example, I want to write a book, I want to be on the speaking circuit and I want to grow iGnite so that women all over the world can iGnite in a positive and inspiring community. I wanna, wanna, wanna! And with that said, I get nervous and afraid that I am going to miss my opportunity, run out of time and miss out. But, thankfully, for the first time in my life, I found a Bible translation that I can actually understand called The Voice, and it’s teaching me about patience. Even though Adam, Pharrell, Gwen and Blake aren’t quoted in it, I have learned so much! One of the things that has been glaring is how late in life God uses people. Of course he uses children, like when He used David to defeat Goliath when David was only a teenager, but for example, Noah, Abraham, Sarai (Abraham’s wife) were waaaay past their “prime,” or what we today consider our “prime.” Granted, people back then lived longer, but by human standards, they were still considered old, and they fulfilled God’s purpose for them much later in life.

I recently watched a special on television called Try, Try Again where John Stossell chronicled the lives of great inventors and authors who not only failed before having success, but were also “past their prime” before having any success and fulfilling their purpose. Just to name a couple: Julia Child was 50 before writing her first cookbook, and Harland Sanders (a.k.a Colonel Sanders) franchised his first Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 62.

All in all, I write this journal not to go off about my personal purpose journey, but rather to encourage anyone who is struggling with defining or finding their purpose, feeling confused about their life, or fearful that there isn’t enough time. For sure we all sometimes feel a sense of urgency because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, but fear cannot be the reason why we do or don’t take action. Instead, remember that there is a season in life for everything and that our purpose can evolve, morph and even change. Sometimes we’re in a season of action, and other times we’re in a season of self-reflection, contemplation and quiet. Regardless of the season you find yourself in now, when you weave in prayer and intention, you will without a doubt be led down the right path and your fruit will be ripe.

Action Item:
Remember there is a season in life for everything and that your purpose can evolve, morph and change over time. Approach your season of life with prayer and intention.

You May Also Like:

Advertisements

Yummy Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit

breakfastquinoawithfruit

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

by Allison Quinones of Plant-Based Pulse

Over the years, my breakfast has evolved from Kashi Cereal to plain old boring hot oatmeal with a tablespoon of brown sugar. As I became more health conscious, I started to be more mindful about what I put into my body first thing in the morning.

This recipe that I featured in the iGnite 10-Day Reboot blog features quinoa, but anyone making this recipe should keep in mind that ANY grain or complex carbohydrate can work in place of quinoa. I love quinoa because it is a complete protein, and as a plant-based vegan I take any complete proteins I can get. Not to mention, quinoa is great for my digestive system.

I have found that quinoa is cheapest at Sprouts, and I typically use whatever fruit is in season or whatever I have that is frozen. On the weekends I typically cook 1 cup of quinoa and divide that 5-6 ways equally throughout the week. If you were going to make one serving, I would cook only 1/4 cup of quinoa, which would come to about 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked.

Keep in mind this is ALL customizable based on what you have on hand. When I’m feeling extra energetic in the kitchen, I prepare a week’s worth ahead of time in a jar and store it in the refrigerator. This recipe contains all the macronutrients but can be adjusted for anyone’s nutritional needs. I find that my protein powder and fruit give it the sweetness I prefer, but adding your own sweetener such as 1 tsp. of maple syrup would suffice as well.

Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit

Serves 1

Ingredients
1/2 cup cooked quinoa (or oats, buckwheat groats, farro, etc.)
1/2 cup thawed frozen blueberries
3-4 sliced strawberries
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Yogurt Plain Unsweetened (optional)
1 Tbs ground flax seed
1 Tbs ground sprouted chia seeds (or whole)
1 Tbs hemp seeds
1 Tbs plant-based vanilla protein powder (optional, I use Garden of Life)
1 tsp maca powder
Top with any of the following: nuts, granola, raw unsweetened coconut flakes, Tbs. coconut butter, Tbs. almond butter

Instructions
Combine all ingredients (except topping) in a bowl, mix until all the ingredients have been equally distributed. Enjoy cold. Will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Note: I often rotate half of a sliced banana, half of a peach, cooked apples, dried mulberries, or mango as my fruit in this dish. If you eat dairy, try adding plain unsweetened Greek yogurt in place of the Coconut Yogurt.

Inspiration for Additional Variations:

Examples of additional variations of the breakfast bowl Allison has enjoyed making

Additional variations of the breakfast bowl that Allison enjoys


Allison Quinones is the blogger behind Plant-Based Pulse. She lives with her husband in Austin, Texas, where together they cook, write and remake recipes, eat plant-based food, train, and compete in triathlons. Allison is passionate about health, wellness, and nutrition and writes her blog as a resource for those trying to find a healthier lifestyle.
Check out more of Allison’s wonderful recipes and blog here

Eating Organic: Why, Which Foods & Money Saving Tips

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

There’s no doubt that ‘organic’ is a buzz word for 2013, and in a perfect world everyone would love to afford an organic-only diet. However, with the cost of food on the rise and the reality that a large majority of the population is on a budget, eating entirely organic is virtually impossible! Let’s face it, a recent college graduate or mother shopping for a family of four is most likely to purchase four non-organic apples for $1, rather than four organic apples for $4.00. With that said, there are particular foods that are very important to eat organic, and rather than give up on eating organic all together, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with why it is important to eat organic, what produce is important to eat organic and a few cost saving tips too.

When produce shopping, a good rule of ‘organic thumb’ is: if the fruit or veggie has an edible skin, buy organic. The reason is that organic farming excludes and strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizers, pesticides (which include herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides), plant growth regulators (such as hormones), livestock antibiotics, food additives, genetically modified organisms, human sewage and nano-materials. Therefore, if your produce has a thick and non-edible skin, your fruit or veggie is more protected from the potentially harmful chemicals — unlike the produce with edible skin that has no protection. And, because we are what we eat, when eating non-organic produce we must assume that our body is also ingesting those same synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, etc.

Try to Buy These Organic: 

  • Apples, Grapes, Strawberries, Berries, Peaches, Apricots, Pears, Cherries, Carrots, Celery, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Greens, Peppers, Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Cabbage Squash, Green Beans, Cucumber, Potatoes

Not as Important to Buy Organic: 

  • Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Mango, Oranges, Bananas, Kiwi, Honeydew, Acorn & Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Avocado, Onion, Corn, Peas

Save some $$!

Finally, there’s nothing worse than spending money on organic produce, to then find it molded and have gone bad in the refrigerator only a few days after purchasing it! On one hand, this is a good sign, as the natural aging process (without chemicals, etc.) is in play. But dang! That’s money down the drain! Therefore, when applicable buy your organic produce frozen (especially if you make smoothies, which is a great way to cool off in the summer and get your fruit and veggie servings for the day) or freeze it upon purchase. This does not diminish the vitamin or mineral content of the fruit or veggie and will save big money!

Furthermore, Costco Wholesale also has incredible deals on frozen organic blueberries and other seasonal produce. Also, subscribe to the Whole Foods mailing list. Very often they have cost-saving sales, like a pint of organic blueberries for $1.99! Finally, if you live in Texas, HEB has an excellent and affordable organic section.

Leave a Comment

The Amazing Avocado

Avocados

Who doesn’t enjoy sitting by the pool or on a patio to enjoy a cold summer beverage with chips and guacamole? Even though guacamole may taste like a splurge, you will be happy to hear that its key ingredient is a super food! We at iGnite have been singing the praises of avocados for years, and now iGnite member and Health Coach Nancy Dacy gives us the full run-down on what makes these little green guys so incredibly fantastic for our bodies:

  • An avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable, and many consider it a ‘perfect food.’
  • It has 18 amino acids that are required to form a complete protein, and it is used more efficiently by our bodies than the protein in meat.
  • It is high in fiber, containing more natural fiber than any other fruit!
  • It is free of sodium and cholesterol and provides 20 essential nutrients.
  • It is rich in GOOD fats and contains the vitamins A, C, D, E, K and B’s.
  • It has more potassium than a banana.
  • They are good for your brain and can help prevent Alzheimer’s.
  • Avocados are heart healthy: they are full of omega 3’s that help lower blood pressure and will lower LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and raise HDL (‘good’ cholesterol).
  • They are great for expectant mothers as they are full of folic acid.
  • They are good for the eyes.
  • They are good for your blood sugar: the soluble fiber prevents blood sugar spikes and will help prevent type 2 diabetes, as well.
  • They are very anti-inflammatory.
  • They are very anti-aging and great for a strong immune system.
  • They are great for digestion.
  • They can help protect against breast cancer and prostate cancer.
  • They will help keep your nervous system healthy.
  • They are a very nutritious food for your toddlers and children.
  • And, don’t forget the skin!  Just mash an avocado and apply directly to your skin.  It is closest to your body’s natural skin oil.  It will help with sunburn as well.

If you do not like avocados, throw some in the blender with a smoothie.  You will get all the benefits without even knowing it is in there. And, if you can…..throw in the seed, too!

So, how much should you eat? We recommend eating up to 1/2 of a medium avocado (or about 1/4 cup) per day.

Happy cooking!

Leave a Comment

Gardening 101: What to Plant in April

Garden

In honor of the approaching Earth Day (Monday, April 22 if you’re curious), we’d like to touch on the beauty of growing your own veggies, fruits and herbs. If you’re at all like me, the idea has always sounded appealing, but I have yet to actually jump in and take a stab at it. I think mainly because I just plain haven’t made the effort to learn anything about it!  So, now — a chance to get informed. Not sure what to plant?  The county and the all-knowing internet has made finding this out pretty easy for us, providing calendars of ‘what to plant when’ online.

So what’s on the list for planting in April in Travis County?

Between April 1 & April 15, plant:

  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans
  • Beets
  • Cantaloupe
  • Chard
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Okra
  • Black-eye Peas
  • Pepper Plants
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • New Zealand Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomato Plants
  • Watermelon

Between April 15 & April 30, plant:

  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Okra
  • Black-eye Peas
  • Pepper Plants
  • New Zealand Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes

For a full list and endless additional resources for gardening in Travis County, visit http://www.co.travis.tx.us/agext/garden/veggies/planting/aprjun.asp

Not in Travis County? Check out your county’s .gov website for resources specific to your region.

Go ahead, give it a go — and let us know how it turns out for you.  Happy planting, and happy early Earth Day!

 

Leave a Comment