Balancing Act

Tuscan chicken over pasta
Brownies with chocolate cream cheese frosting

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:33-34

Life is a constant balancing act. As a follower of Christ, wife, mother, daughter, etc.. it can often feel like you are wearing many hats all day long. This often leads to a very unbalanced life. I know for myself, I have had many years where this feeling has lead to me to over-indulge and fill my lacking with food. I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. So many ups and downs, losing weight to only gain it back and then some. Add to fact that I was pregnant 3 times in a 6 year period, and let’s just say that did nothing to help me balance life or food.

About a year ago I made the decision to join Weight Watchers, after hearing a friend have success with the program. About this time the program also changed to allow a lot of “free” foods. All lean protein, fruits, and veggies now no longer count towards your daily point allowance. Along with Weight Watchers, I also started running again. After my oldest, Scarlet, was born I lost a significant amount of weight by cutting calories and running. I had a true joy for putting in my miles and the clarity I got from a nice long run. So, I decided to start running along with the Weight Watchers program. To date I have lost over 35lbs, and even more importantly I just started training for a 10k this week!

All of this to say, we have to strive for balance in our lives and in our diets. No one else is going to do this for us. Splurge and have that brownie, but keep it simple at dinner, and maybe even throw in some extra exercise to help clear your mind!

Tuscan Chicken Bake

  • 5-6 thin cut chicken breast
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or ran through a garlic press
  • 3 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, I used a tuscan herb one I had from a specialty store
  • 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz., spaghetti noodles, I used one with added protein

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non stick spray. Lay chicken breast in bottom of dish and season with salt and pepper. Next, add garlic to the tops of the chicken breast, making sure to get a little on each one. Layer spinach over the garlic, followed by the roasted red peppers. Drizzle olive oil over the top, then add shredded mozzarella cheese.

Place in oven and bake for 20 mins. After 20 mins, cover dish with foil and cook for another 20 mins., or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over spaghetti noodles.

I added some of the flavored olive oil and garlic to my pasta for a little extra flavor,but do whatever makes you happy!

Brownies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups self rising flour
  • Chocolate cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk sugar, oils, eggs, cocoa, and vanilla together. Slowly stir in flour, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour I to a greased and floured 9×13 dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes in center of oven. This will provide a fudgy brownie. Of you want a more cake like consistency, cook a little longer. Cool completely before adding frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. Cream cheese softened (I use 1/3 less fat)
  • 1/4 cup u salted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Slowly add cocoa to butter mixture, being sure that your mixer is on low. Now add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. Spread over cooked brownies using an offset spatula.

Life is hard. We are never going to find the perfect balance. Some days we may never even check one thing off our list. But if we lean in to God and make it our mission to spend time with him every day, we will have already done the most important thing we can do this side of heaven.

Until next time,

Fellowship Foodie

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