Today is the first Monday of 2015.
Happy New Year!
Are you set and settled for 2015?
We are still in process in my household.  Decorations are packed away, and holiday leftovers and sweet treats are long gone.  My husband went back to work today, but things are not back to the regular just yet because the kids are still home. (For some reason our school system doesn’t start back until January 12th…).  It’s all good.  I’m enjoying this last week home with the kids by taking things easy and slowly acclimating back to the school schedule/routine.
This month, I’m most excited to start personal Bible study using Breathe: Making Room for Sabbath by Priscilla Shirer.  The topic description:

One of the greatest challenges among women in our culture is taking time to stop and cease from all the activities and busyness and just breathe. We are in bondage to busyness. We constantly strive to complete the limitless to-do lists that hinder us from experiencing all that God has for us. We miss the moments because we rush ahead to the next thing. By neglecting time for tranquility, serenity, and repose, we limit our Christlikeness and miss out on some of God’s greatest gifts. It is time for us to breathe and build margin into our lives for God. In the Old Testament, God instituted principles and laws that would transform the Israelites’ mindset. He didn’t just want them legally free; He wanted them to be able to walk in the freedom and enjoy it. So God gave them many gifts, including boundaries in which to enjoy those gifts. Sabbath was intended as a gift, and it is still a gift to us today. If you are weary, worn out, and exhausted the concept of Sabbath will change your life.

I’ve been thinking about praying about my level of busyness and was led to slow my roll.  This study is just what I need!  I’m open and ready to listen, learn and obey.
On the fitness front, I’m ready for a physical push and started a HIIT-based, circuit at-home routine that looked to be another perfect fit. 
Day 1 workout is done with a pleasant surprise.  It got my heart rate going but was not the push I anticipated. Yay fitness! (LOL)  I need something more challenging so the search continues.  
On the food front, Meatless Monday also continues.  I started the day with a smoothie – my go to choice for a quick, nutritious breakfast or workout recovery meal.  Below I share my simple smoothie. It is made with only 5 ingredients – each chosen for their taste, satiety, nutrition and fat releasing benefits.
For dinner, I’m really looking forward to a big salad and bigger bowl of the Yukon Gold Potato Soup from my current favorite cookbook – A Beautiful Bowl of Soup – the Best Vegetarian Recipes by Paulette Mitchell,  I luv this book!
From the publisher:

No, there is no chicken stock in this soup. What you’ll find here is page after glorious page of the loveliest, most delicious soups and stews – each and every one entirely vegetarian. Brimming with international flavors, Paulette Mitchell’s easy-to-follow recipes are paired with unique accompaniments, garnishes, and toppings that add tremendous visual appeal. Witness hearty Pumpkin Stew baked and served in a pumpkin shell; classic onion soup updated with crunchy goat cheese toasts; and Spicy Sweet Potato Ancho Bisque swirled with bright Roasted Red Pepper Cream. From Mediterranean Saffron Stew to Greek Spinach and Orzo Soup, these colorful dishes are simple enough for every day, yet sophisticated enough for elegant dinner parties. Instructions for making tasty vegetable stock from scratch, a selection of delicious vegan soups, and a helpful “tips” section make this gorgeous cookbook an important addition to any kitchen where good food and good health are on the menu.

I think soup is one of the world’s most comforting pleasures and could eat it everyday during the cooler months.  I’m also a decided flexitarian.  I like meat and currently don’t see giving it up completely, but my taste and tolerance is changing. Cleaning the turkey for Thanksgiving and chicken for gumbo on Christmas grossed me out in a way it never has before.  This cookbook of vegetarian soups pulls two interests together for me.  It is perfect for Meatless Monday Meal exploration this winter. (The plan is to try a new recipe every week.)
Tonight is the potato soup. Next week, (or maybe later this week), I’ll try the Roasted Bell Pepper Soup with Lemon Vinaigrette. Week after that – Asparagus Leek Soup, then Black Bean Soup with Mango Salsa, then Tomato Lentil Soup, then Jalapeno Corn Chowder and then Sweet Potato-Ancho Bisque with Apple Pecan Salsa and Roasted Red Pepper Cream.  The to try list goes on and on.
Anything new for you on your faith, food or fitness front?  If so please share. 
Here’s to a happy, healthy and purposeful New Year.

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