Digestion Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

emotional health, anxiety, mental health, depression, anxiety, eating, food, grieving, ptsd survivor, podcaster, author, blogger, blog, blogger life, digestion, regurgitation, hypersensitive, trauma

emotional health, anxiety, mental health, depression, anxiety, eating, food, grieving, ptsd survivor, podcaster, author, blogger, blog, blogger life, digestion, regurgitation, hypersensitive, trauma
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In our Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis Series, I dissect issues and symptoms of PTSD/trauma. This is in hopes of letting people know that they are not alone, as well as giving people the freedom to comment, and talk about how PTSD/trauma has affected their lives in these areas. The last post in the Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis Series was one dealing with the Holiday Aspect of trauma. You can find that post here. Today’s post will focus on the Digestion Aspect.

One surprising revelation for me was realizing that PTSD/trauma actually affects your digestion. I stumbled upon this realization in June of 2014, a couple of months after getting divorced. There are three things that I noticed when it comes to trauma and digestion:

Trauma and grief will come out in the form of regurgitation.

I am not trying to sound gross here, so please bear with me. Due to complications with my ex-husband’s health, as well as the fact that I had stuffed my emotions for so long, my grief was delayed. Grieving my divorce, and all the events surrounding it, were delayed. Alleviating some of the symptoms that I was experiencing seemed downright frightening because of stuffing for so long.

This caused me to be in a vicious cycle of stuffing and feeling like my face and chest was going to explode, with very little relief. Trauma is in the tissues, and so I discovered, along with reading information on my own, that movement, grief, and massaging helped to release it. The problem came into play when I finally felt like I could release the trauma. However, the underlying feeling was that if I started crying, there would be no bottoming out. Subconsciously, I knew it was going to be a bad release.

Instead of my system waiting any longer, it released the trauma and grief in the form of regurgitation. Initially, I thought that it was just that maybe something upset my stomach. However, after four rounds of this, and feeling grief in between each round, I knew that wasn’t the case at all. It didn’t take long to put two and two together.

I felt very vulnerable, and my son kept asking me, “What did you eat?” I told him that it had nothing to do with the food. It was physiological.

Trauma will cause your system to get confused about hunger and fullness.

Another weird discovery that I made is that every now and then, stored trauma and unreleased grief will make your system confused as far as satiety is concerned. There are times when I have felt like I could keep eating forever. Then, there are other times that I feel hungry, and then attempt to eat, but will all of a sudden feel full.

Lastly, there are times when I can literally feel my emotions trapped in my midsection, causing my body to try to figure out whether it is satisfied, or it needs more food. It is the weirdest thing. It doesn’t happen as much anymore. However, when it happens, it can be very frustrating.

When doing research, one of the explanations that I found is that because of PTSD/trauma, at times, the blood that should flow into the stomach, moves away from it, going to other areas like the arms.

Trauma will cause you to become hypersensitive to certain foods, causing severe panic attacks when consumed in normal portions.

The last issue that I would like to discuss is how trauma causes hypersensitivity to foods. These foods vary from person to person. For me, it was sugar. I first discovered this when I decided to eat a glazed donut in 2015.

Within five minutes, a severe panic attack came on, I felt like I was going to hit the roof. The only thing that would help my system to calm down was drinking an excess amount of water, and then deep breathing, and a lot of prayer. Taking multivitamins has helped , but it is still not the same.

My system has improved a little. However, it can’t handle what it once was able to. Sometimes, I get frustrated with this fact. It is what it is. I have learned to accept the fact that a few moments of pleasure for an hour or more of panic just isn’t worth it.

How has PTSD/trauma affected your digestion? What are some of the ways that you use to cope with it?

God bless,

Katina

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Elijah and the Widow

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Background on Elijah and the Widow

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Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

The last poem that I wrote was entitled Blessings, Blessings. That poem can be found here. This poem retells the story of Elijah and the widow.

Elijah and the Widow

God sent me here.

That’s why I’ve come.

Cause I was told you are the one.

Please feed me now.

I mustn’t starve.

Have no more food.

Barely got lard.

What do you have?

Please look and see!

Some bread and oil,

Not fit for three.

Please feed me first.

Then you will see,

How God provides,

So bountifully.

And she obeyed, until it hurt.

Then God came down,

And proved her worth.

See she forgot that God provides.

The oil increased.

The bread did rise.

Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath

Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widowthere to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lordsends rain on the land.’”

15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.


Simple Stuffing

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Background on Simple Stuffing

For the last five days, I have been reading Remember God by Annie F. Downs. It is good. I believe that it is a combination of things that pulls the reader in: the style of writing, the rawness of emotions, and then the fact that it is written in story form. I can’t believe that I am already on page 130 after just a few days.

There are several things that resonated with me while reading this book. I am going to discuss two: I was deep into the story of her Job experience, where everything seemed to go wrong right before Thanksgiving. Why? Because that is exactly what happened to me this year. You can find that whole story here by listening to the podcast: Dancing in the Rain.

The second thing is when she talked about the sweet spot of her life at that time. I heard one particular message on the sweet spot about three years ago, and it still resonates now. Basically, our sweet spot is the spot where we push past our comfort zone into the pain and hard work, but right where God can use this pain and tension for his glory.

I made the recipe below for a Christmas Eve get-together that I had with some dear friends who are just like family to me. Have a blessed week!

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Activity: Making Simple Stuffing

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • cumin – two tablespoons
  • basil – two tablespoons
  • onion powder – two tablespoons
  • garlic powder – two tablespoons
  • minced garlic – two tablespoons
  • two zucchinis
  • two carrots
  • one onion
  • one piece of a celery stalk
  • two boxes of cornbread stuffing
  • 6 slices of honey wheat bread
  • 2 cups of broth

Directions:

  • Boil two cups of water with butter.
  • Saute the carrots, zucchini, and onions.
  • While the vegetables are sauteing, cut up six slices of bread into cubes.
  • Season with basil, and then place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Add the two boxes of cornbread stuffing mix and cubed bread cubes to the water.
  • Add the sauteed vegetables, celery, garlic, seasonings, and broth.
  • Throw it into a casserole pan at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

Simple Spaghetti Casserole

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Background on Simple Spaghetti Casserole

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This morning was the Christmas party celebration for my Moms’ Ministry small group.  We had a ton of food and a ton of fun.  This year has definitely been an eye opener from God to me, in realizing that yes, gifts are nice.  They are wonderful.  However, the best gifts in life do not come wrapped with a pretty bow.  Because of God’s love toward us, we are indeed able to share this gift of love. 

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There is something about friendship, fellowship, food, and laughs that makes you appreciate all the wonderful blessings that life has to offer.  I think the craziest part of the morning was when we played charades, which featured words that centered around winter and Christmas time.  The highlights of this game was when I tried acting out Christmas stockings, and did a goofy swirl with my body.  Then, we had the other team recreating the nativity scene.  What fun!

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Last night, it dawned on me that I had signed up to bring cookies and a cold pasta dish to this celebration.  What I decided to do was to make spaghetti to eat, and then this morning, my wheels started turning, and that spaghetti transformed into my “Simple Spaghetti Casserole”.  You can find the last simple recipe that I made here.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

God bless!

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Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti Casserole

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Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours

 Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of French cut green beans
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • 1 can of pasta sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of parsley
  • 1/2 cup of vegan or non-vegan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder

Directions:

  • Boil one box of spaghetti in five cups of water.
  • Pour the olive oil into the water so that the spaghetti won’t stick.
  • Saute the corn and french green beans with butter and chili powder.
  • Rinse the spaghetti when done, then add the pasta sauce, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add all of the rest of the seasonings except for the cheese and parsley.
  • Cook for 10 ten minutes, and then dump into a large casserole pan, at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, completely covering with the shredded cheese and the parsley on top.
  • Enjoy!

 

Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

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Background on the Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

I had a busy weekend.  However, it was a good kind of busy.  I got a chance to enjoy my mom and niece who were visiting.  I did plenty of cooking.  However, I also had a lot of down time.  Yesterday, I ended up watching a Hallmark movie that had a really good story line.

The main character’s sister, Alice, had died suddenly from heart issues.  Alice’s death prompted Lois to go back to her hometown first for the funeral, and then secondly, to take care of the affairs of her estate.  Instead of taking care of these things, and then going right back to her high-powered attorney job, she decided to stay for a while.

This visit was more than what she had bargained for.  All the memories from her sister’s car accident came to the forefront.  She also had to deal with the fact that she had become estranged from her sister over the years.  Alice’s friends knew more about her life than Lois did.

It took her awhile to reconcile the fact that the car accident that Alice was involved in was indeed not her fault, nor Peter’s.  Lois kept thinking that if she hadn’t been out with Peter, her boyfriend, then her sister wouldn’t have ended up disabled.

Towards the end of the movie, Lois discovered that Alice had birthed a child during her college years.  She was finally able to meet her niece and the adoptive parents, and find true forgiveness for herself and Peter.

In life, we are a lot like Lois, we think that “if only” we would have done or not done something, then things wouldn’t have turned out as they did.  It is part of the bargaining stage of grief.  However, Satan also uses it as a foothold to keep us stuck in life.  He wants us to pride ourselves into thinking that we are in control of all of life’s details.  The truth of the matter is that we are not.  God is.  We will not know all the reasons that he decides for things to be the way they are.

I love making bean concoctions.  The last one that I made can be found here.  Below is a recipe that I made a little over a week ago.

 

Activity:  Making Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

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Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  35 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • cumin – 2 tablespoons
  • chili powder – 3 tablespoons
  • onion powder – 2 tablespoons
  • turmeric – 2 tablespoons
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

  • Boil one cup of brown rice.
  • Cut up two zucchinis into chunks.
  • While the brown rice is boiling, saute the zucchini.
  • Heat up the beans in a large pot, along with three cups of water.
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot.
  • Heat up the mixture for about 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

God bless,

 

Katina

Simple Spaghetti

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Background Story on Simple Spaghetti

I have been reading Brene Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead for a couple of weeks now.  If I was just reading that one book, I would be done by now.  However, I am reading about six books at the same time.  What I love is that the Holy Spirit has intertwined several themes across the board with all of these books:  vulnerability, shame, joy, gratitude, dealing with the unexpected, hustling for self-worth, and filling our thirst.

There are several things that stuck out with me so far in this book.  I would like to quote three of them:

Quote #1

“Embodying and practicing gratitude changes everything.  It is not a personal construct, it’s a human construct-a unifying part of our existence-and it’s the antidote to foreboding joy, plain and simple.  It’s allowing yourself the pleasure of accomplishment, or love, or joy-of really feeling it, of basking in it-by conjuring up gratitude for the moment and for the opportunity”. (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

This reminds of last night.  I got together with a group of friends.  I allowed myself to not dismiss the reality that my life has been filled with lots of drama and trauma within the last six months.  However, my heart was full.  It was so, so full.  I thanked God for my friends, the food, the fellowship, time to decompress, and the laughs from the movie.  I thanked him for all his goodness in spite of what my real life problems were.

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Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Quote #2

“Something as simple as starting or ending meetings with a gratitude check, when everyone shares one thing they’re grateful for, can build trust and connection, serve as container-building, and give your group permission to lean into joy.” (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

The second quote was a Holy Spirit moment because just a week ago, I had an accident.  I allowed myself to sink in anger about all the inconveniences, but then quickly gave myself a gratitude check.  That post can be found here.  The funny thing about it is that I titled the post “Gratitude Check” prior to reading page 83 of Dare to Lead.  God knows how to bring all things together.

Quote #3

The last quote is from page 97, which was another Holy Spirit moment.  It reminded me of my IT job from years ago, where I sought to prove that I could sit at the table with others who made a certain salary, instead of being discriminated against.  I didn’t realize that the only table that I needed to have recognition at is the table of Christ.  The “Heavenly Places” blog post can be found here.

“When people don’t understand where they’re strong and where they deliver value for the organization or even for a single effort, they hustle.  The kind that’s hard to be around because we are jumping in everywhere, including where we’re not strong or not needed, to prove that we deserve a seat at the table.” (Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown, page 97)

A few days ago, I decided to try my hands at a simple spaghetti recipe.  There were very few ingredients.  It turned out pretty good.  The only problem was that I put too many red pepper flakes.  I would take a bite to eat, then feel flames at the back of my throat.  This cycle repeated itself until the bowl was empty.  Enjoy!

Here is the recipe:

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Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti

Total cooking and Prepping Time: 40 minutes

Servings: about 12

Ingredients:  

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of basil
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato soup (low-sodium)
  • basil or spinach leaves (for garnish and eating)

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Valley of Grace Cutting Board-Shopify Store

Directions: 

  • Boil six cups of water with olive oil or butter so that the spaghetti won’t stick.
  • Add the spaghetti to the boiling water.
  • Drain the spaghetti.
  • Dump the pasta sauce and tomato soup into the pot.
  • Add one can of water to the pot.
  • Dump all the seasonings into the pot.
  • Serve in bowls or on plates.
  • Garnish with basil or spinach leaves.
  • Enjoy!

 

God bless,

Katina

Simple Chicken Soup

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Background on the Chicken Soup

This was a busy week.  We are getting closer and closer to the holidays coming upon us.  In my Tuesday morning MOM’s group, we are studying the book entitled, “Pierced and Embraced” by Kelli Worrall.  This past week, we dissected the chapter entitled:  Forgiven and Set Free:  The Woman Caught in Adultery.

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This chapter hones in on the sin of judging and condemnation.  If you haven’t already, you can check out the poem “If We’re Judging” here, and the podcast, “Broken People Judging Broken People here.  One of the most fascinating things in scripture about this story is the question of what was Jesus writing in the sand when the scribes were trying to trip him up on the law and how he was going to handle the situation of the woman caught in adultery.  The other question that lingers is “Where was the Man?”  Well, I guess that is food for thought.

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On that note, a few nights ago, I decided to make what I call simple chicken soup.  It turned out pretty good, and it requires very few ingredients.  Here is the recipe, and have a blessed weekend!

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Activity:  Making Simple Chicken Soup

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 3 hours

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 boxes of chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons of cumin
  • 3 tablespoons of italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 small whole chicken
  • 1 1/2 cans of corn
  • 1 1/2 cans of french cut green beans

Directions:

  • Set the slow cooker for 3 hours on high.
  • After rinsing off, place a small whole chicken into a slow cooker of of 1 1/2 boxes of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of water.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of chili powder, cumin, and italian seasoning to the chicken.
  • Rinse off excess water from the cans of corn and green beans, and then saute them in a skillet.
  • Dump the vegetables into the slow cooker after 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • After 2 hours 45 minutes, carefully cut of the chicken into pieces while in the slow cooker.
  • Enjoy!

 

Vegan Sunflower and Chia Seed Pancakes

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Background on the Pancakes

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For the last five mornings, I have been making pancakes for breakfast.  On the first two mornings, I used bananas as a filling.  My mom and niece took the train out here to spend some time with us, and I ended up using the last of the bananas on Saturday morning when I decided to make us pancakes for brunch after my Writer’s Group.

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On yesterday morning, I used chia seeds, and then today, I used a combination of chia seeds and sunflower seeds.  Believe it or not, it was filling.  I got full after eating the second thick pancake.  Another new thing that I tried was using honey instead of syrup for a topping, along with vegan butter.  They were delicious!!

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Ingredients

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  • 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil or vegan butter for the mix (2 for bowl mixture) (2 for skillet)
  • 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 2 cups of Almond or Soy milk
  • Jar of honey or syrup
  • vegan butter for the topping

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Directions

  • Dump the pancake mix into a bowl.
  • Toss the seeds, 2 tablespoons of olive oil/butter, the milk and 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal.
  • Mix all the ingredients with a whisk, wooden spoon, or whatever you have.
  • Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil or vegan butter in a skillet or pan.
  • Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour the scoops of batter into the skillet, turning the pancakes over once you see the holes coming through.
  • Drizzle honey or syrup and butter on top.
  • Pancake and waffle mix, pancakes, healthy eating, vegan, blog, blogger, author, food, food photography, brunch, family, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseed meal, breakfast, healthy recipes

Send me a line letting me know if you try it.  You definitely won’t be disappointed!

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Have a blessed night!

 

Katina

Red Beans with Couscous Mix

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Background Story on the Red Beans and Couscous Mix:

Last night, my small group, “The Bible Babes”, were back in full swing.  It felt could to see everyone after such a long, summer break.  We are diving into Kelly Minter’s book, “All Things New”.  The session video that we watched last night set the tone for the study by having us to dive into two concepts:  1)  using our weakness to enable God’s strength to be present and seen by others, and 2) keeping our hearts wide open to others, even when we have been faced with some relationship challenges.  Of course, wide open hearts do not take the place of exerting boundaries.  However, it helps us to be vulnerable, release shame, and allow God’s grace to move in our hearts.  It definitely takes the Holy Spirit to be at work in hearts to thrive, even in the midst of our pain.

Tags Keywords:Red beans and couscous beans vegan healthy eating mixed vegetables dinner recipes food food photography
Red Beans with Couscous Pic 1

 

As you all know by now, I am doing something with beans and legumes almost every week.  About a week ago, I made a recipe that is almost gone unfortunately.  It is what I called my Red Beans & Couscous mix.  I didn’t use canned beans.  If I would have used canned beans, the red beans and couscous mix would have been done in about 35 minutes. It ended up taking two hours just for the red beans to be ready.  I literally dumped all kinds of ingredients into this mixture.  Last week, I made “Black Beans and Mixed Greens”.  You can find the recipe here.

 

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Red Beans with Couscous Pic 2

Here is the recipe:

Activity:  Making Red Beans & Couscous Mix

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  35 minutes with canned beans, 2.5 hours with regular beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of couscous
  • 1 can of mushrooms
  • 1 can of mixed vegetables
  • 3 cans of beans or 1 bag of beans
  • vegetable broth or chicken broth (non-vegan)
  • 3 tablespoons of turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons of cumin
  • 3 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 cup of nutritional yeast
  • Optional:  vegan mozzarella cheese or regular cheese on top

 

Tags Keywords:Red beans and couscous beans vegan healthy eating mixed vegetables dinner recipes food food photography
Red Beans with Couscous Pic 3

Directions:

  • Boil the beans in water according to whether they are bagged or canned.
  • Saute the mushrooms and mixed vegetables while the beans are boiling.
  • Boil the couscous and fluff with a fork when done.
  • Dump all of the above ingredients into a big pot, pouring in about two and a half coups of broth.
  • Add cheese as an optional topping.
  • Enjoy!

Servings: about 15

Have a blessed night!

 

Katina

Black Beans & Mixed Greens

Background Story on  the Beans

I am sure that you’ve caught on to the fact that there are a lot of beans, legumes, and rice going on here in this house.  One thing about those three items is that they are quick, inexpensive, and tasty when just the right spices are added.  It is so easy to add any vegetable to beans and rice and call it  a day.

After making sure that you have some type of added fat, such as olive oil, avocado, or butter, you have everything that you need for a healthy dinner on a tight budget.  Last week, I featured a recipe using garbanzo beans here.

 

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Black Beans & Mixed Greens

Life Application

On yesterday, I went to my mom’s group.  We are currently studying the book Pierced and Embraced by Kelli Worrall.  After the holidays, we’ll be diving into the study on the book of James by Beth Moore.  The chapter of discussion yesterday was:  Sought Out and Satisfied:  The Woman at the Well.

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This chapter led to a pretty good discussion, as we dived right into talking about all the labels that we give ourselves as individuals, along with the lies that Satan feeds us in regards to these labels.  Jesus made a special trip to meet this woman whose mind was set to fulfill a fleshly need: thirst.  Little did she know that she would receive the everlasting water of life:  Jesus himself.

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I hope that you guys have a blessed night!

 

Here is the recipe:

Activity:  Making Black Beans & Mixed Greens with Rice

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 35 minutes

 

Ingredients:

Cumin

Turmeric

Italian Seasoning

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

1/2 cup of nutritional yeast

1 1/2 cups of rice

1 can of mixed greens

2 cans of black beans

1/4 olive oil

 

Directions:

  1. Boil the rice.
  2. While the rice is boiling, saute the mixed greens in olive oil, and heat up the beans.
  3. Dump everything into one skillet once the rice is ready, and mix and stir.
  4. Enjoy!