Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thirty…Something and a Little Spring Cleaning

I turned 31 last month and had no idea how much more difficult that number would be than 30. Last year I was able to reflect on my 20’s and count those wonderful blessings. This year, I think the reality finally hit that I am not just 30, but I am now 30-something…I am IN my 30’s…whoa! How did that happen? Well, let’s just say I had a little adjusting to do…but I also had a fabulously fun family celebration.

My nephew and niece spent the night the evening before our family get-together and the morning of, I heard them playing with the toy mailbox. My nephew said, “It’s Aunt Brooke’s birthday, let’s take her the birthday card”. After which he promptly entered my room with “the birthday card” and told me that the mailman brought it. This was a great way to start the day!

The most precious card was the real one where he actually wrote his own name. This is a treasure…

Salmon with Broccoli Salad was on the menu:

Followed by my favorite chocolate cake:

I am so thankful for my parents, my brother, sister-in-law and my nephew and two nieces. They all made me feel so loved and I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon with all of them.

Since then, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to do a little “Spring cleaning” spiritually and physically. For the last seven weeks I have been deep into Beth Moore’s latest Bible study on the Book of James. My Bible study group wrapped up the last session this week, but I think I’m going to spend a little extra time with James, reflecting and letting it all soak in. If you ever have opportunity to do this study with the video sessions…do not pass it up! You will be blessed!

My physical “Spring cleaning” has come in the form of two really delicious smoothies. The first one that I’ve had almost every day this month is the green smoothie:

1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cored
1 Pear, cored
1 Lemon juiced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
1 Tbsp ground Flaxseed
1-2 handfuls of spinach
4 Kale or Collard leaves (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pour into glasses and enjoy with a meal or as a snack. Serves 2-3.
Spring is a great time to focus on greens: Detox with Spring Greens.

The other smoothie with which I’ve been “Spring cleaning” is a Carrot Cake Smoothie:

This is like dessert! It makes a great addition to breakfast, a mid-day or post-workout snack or a night-time dessert.


½ Cup Coconut Milk
½ Cup Water
5 Carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Banana, frozen
1 Tbsp ground Flaxseed
1 Tbsp Raw Almond Butter
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Cloves
¼ tsp Nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a blender until well combined. Pour into glasses, then top with:

2 Tbsp Raisins
2 Tbsp Walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp grated Coconut

Aside from being unbelievably delicious, here are just a few reasons why this is so, so very good…carrots have a cleansing effect on the liver and digestive system, help counter the formation of kidney stones and promote eye health. Banana is a great source of potassium which is good for heart health and stroke prevention. Coconut milk is also high in potassium and a good source of protein. Not only high in fiber, flaxseeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, important for good brain function. Almond butter is an excellent source of protein and vitamin E, promoting healthy immune system and healthy skin. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are all excellent anti-inflammatory spices and digestive aids.

Ok, who's ready for cake...I mean smoothie?

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