A Key to Grocery Shopping 


Do NOT be fooled by labels that make a product sound like a healthy choice. Peter Pan’s “Simply Ground” peanut butter is anything but “simply ground”. Hydrogenated oils (aka trans fat) are one of the very top ingredients to avoid. I always read the labels of new products I’m considering buying, so I know what I’m fueling (or inhibiting) my body with.

And true, simply ground peanuts taste much better than Peter Pan’s anyways! 😊

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 



This tower of tastiness was inspired by a dish I had in NYC.  The restaurant where I ordered this served it cold, but I knew that it would be better with warm beets to melt the avocado, making it extra creamy. With that said, here is my twist on their idea. 

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 

  • 2 medium beets, peeled and sliced into circles

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Lay beets on a baking sheet. Season with pepper and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Roast for 20-25 minutes in the oven or until fork tender. 

As the beets become close to being done, slice the avocado. When beets are finished,  begin layering the salad with a beet slice followed by 2-3 avocado slices on top of the beet. Repeat this layering until it’s 5-6 layers high. I sometimes garnish with crunched up kale chips when I have them made. Makes 3-4 servings.

*Beets and avocados are high in Folate (great for women in their child-bearing years!) Beets are also a great liver cleanser and avocados are great for eye and bone health.

Christmas Day – The Christ Candle

Whole to the Core Blog

Today we celebrate God’s gift to us- Jesus Christ. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas Day, and may the love of Jesus fill your heart throughout the new year!

John 1:1-14
The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true…

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Celebrating Advent – The Bethlehem Candle: the Candle of Peace

Whole to the Core Blog

Celebrating the Second Sunday of Advent The Bethlehem Candle- the candle of Peace:


“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2-5

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were…

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Celebrating Advent – The Prophet’s Candle, The Candle of Hope

Whole to the Core Blog

Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. This week’s candle is called the Prophet’s  Candle, and it represents the hope God gave to His people with the promise of the coming Messiah.

 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:1-2

There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Jesus.

Mathematically speaking, here are the odds of any one person fulfilling these 300+ prophecies:

  • 1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000
  • 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power
  • 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies: Providence at it’s best!

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

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7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 1


We often hear about the Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in Jesus at Christmas time – those that center around His birth. But, there are many that are also fulfilled through His death. Beginning today, and throughout the rest of Passion Week, we will look at just how some of those Old Testament prophesies were indeed fulfilled completely in Christ.

Day 1 Prophecy:

“And I (God) will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed (Jesus) ; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15).

Fulfilled: “ ‘Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world (Satan) be cast out. And if I (Jesus) be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.’ But He said this to signify by what death He was about to die” (John 12:31-33).

Mocha Smoothie Bowl (Like having ice cream for breakfast!)

I’m moving my morning smoothie from the glass to the bowl! And since I use frozen banana, this has a thick and creamy texture similar to ice cream. You can top your smoothie bowl with your favorite toppings, sit a spell, and indulge while knowing you’re feeding your body so many good things!

Mocha Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 frozen banana

  • 4 oz coffee (or water if you don’t want the coffee flavor)

  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder

  • 1 tablespoon hemp protein powder

  • Dash almond extract

  • Dash of cinnamon

  • Toppings of your choice (I used strawberries and chopped cashews)

Place all ingredients (except toppings) into a blender, and mix on high until banana is completely blended. Pour into a bowl, garnish with toppings, and enjoy!

Other awesome smoothie recipes:

DIY McDonald’s Mango Pineapple Smoothie

Black Forest Smoothie

Purple Rain Smoothie

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Vanilla Extract ~ Homemade and Easy

 I make my own vanilla extract because it’s just 2 ingredients: vanilla beans and vodka. In the picture above, my new batch is the one on the left. My “almost-all-gone” batch is on the right. All that it takes is some time, but it’s worth it. The extract I started this morning will darken to match my old one in about a month. I buy my whole vanilla beans on Amazon and, as a youth pastor’s wife, I discreetly bought some vodka at Sam’s 🙂 The good news is that the one bottle of vodka will last through a few batches.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

  • 10 whole vanilla beans

  • 1 1/2 cups vodka

Place vodka in a mason jar. Slice each bean lengthwise just to slightly open the bean so the flavor can release. Place beans into vodka and fold if necessary to immerse as much as possible. Place lid on top and seal securely. Shake once a week until it is darkened in color. I leave the beans in until I completely use the extract up. 

NaturalNews.com – You Will Find Me There!

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Thanks to Natural News Blog for referencing my post, Natural Benefits of Sweet Hummus, in one of their blogs today about how hummus can improve certain aspects of your health!

Banana Nut Stuffed Dates


My family loves dates. They are naturally sweet (so a few go a long way) yet are high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and B6 vitamins. I chose to stuff these dates with more potassium (banana) and more manganese (almonds) with a hint of orange. Yep. These were a hit in our home for an after-dinner treat.

Banana Nut Stuffed Dates

  • 20 Dates (I used medjool dates)

  • 1 banana

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds

  • 1 small orange

  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place almonds into a glass jar. Zest and juice the orange and pour over the almonds. Allow to soak for at least an hour. Place almonds and liquid into a food processor. Turn on food processor and allow to run until the almonds are finely ground. Add in banana, flax, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. Process until thoroughly combined. Slice dates in half and remove pit if they are present. Fill each date with about a teaspoon or so of the banana nut mixture. Garnish with orange zest. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Allow them to sit out for about 10 minutes so the dates soften up a bit.