Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meet The Dog

This is Johann. He's an 8 year old German Shepherd.

This is Johann humoring me during a break in a recent run/bike ride. I told him I wanted him to sit and stay by the bike. He sits and stays. I say turn around. He says, "What?"
"Turn around."
Johann moves closer to the bike but keeps eyes on me.
"No, face the other way." I physically pick his front end up and swivel him around.
"You're nuts strange human, but okay," he says, still keeping eyes on me. His head is starting to look as though it were put on the wrong way.
"Now look the other way."
"That's impossible." He won't do it. He plays dumb dog.
"Johann, away. Out," I say, waving my hand. He plays dumb dog very well. I wave my hand with more authority. He makes faces. I probably looked stupid.

He decides to comply when I push his face around. For about .2 seconds. As soon as I'm back to my starting position he's looking at me again. I rearrange his face again. This time he's gotten the idea (or just decided to stop playing dumb dog) and keeps it there just long enough for me to snap the above photo. Then he gets up and walks towards me innocently with tail wagging.

Typical dog.

That's the story behing his swept back ears.

Who has pets? Tell me a story about them. Or at least tell me their name and what species they are.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Serving = Wellness

I was reading this article the other day, and it got me thinking, serving others is so underrated. Loving others is so underrated. It's always been about everyone's three favorite persons: Me, Myself and I.

The kind of love I'm talking about is not that kind that's sung about in love songs, portrayed in films or idolized by society. There's a kind of love that is not an emotion (and if you didn't know that such a kind existed, dude you have some serious research to do. Go google "Greek words for love"). It doesn't give you butterflies, make you feel giddy and air-headed. It's much deeper than that. It's the kind of love that Jesus talked about in John 13:34-35 when he said,

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

In the original Greek text, the word for love used is agape. Agape is the ultimate love - it's the kind that tells you to be patient and kind when there's no good reason to do so, the kind that kept that old married couple together when they didn't feel that they liked each other anymore, and the kind that kept Jesus so willing to die for a spiteful, hateful people so that at least some of them could be saved. Agape keeps going where feelings give up. It's a decision, it's an action. It's what true love looks like.

The article I mentioned is on love and serving, so if you haven't already I highly recommend you all to check it out here.

Today, take the time to learn what agape is, then put it to practice. Remember how fantastic you feel mentally and physically when you take the focus off yourself and selflessly serve someone else? It's not coincidence. Agape is healthy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Classic Vanilla Chia Pudding + Vanilla Almond & Plum Version

It's like tapioca pudding, except it isn't.

The Salvia Hispanica, or "chia", is a plant in the mint family. The seeds are tiny and mostly dark colored, and very, very healthy. It gets thrown into the "Super Food" category a lot, but that doesn't really mean all that much as some of the stuff that gets the title isn't all that fantastic. When soaked in liquid chia seeds expand and gelatinize, providing the perfect consistency for stuff like puddings.

What I love about this is that it is so easy to make, and it makes a fantastic quick breakfast or snack. It also gets better with age. Make it the night before and eat it in the morning but I think it tastes best 2 days later.

This is my base recipe for chia pudding. The stuff is very filling so you don't need much of it. Make it in the container you'll be storing it in and keep it in the fridge. Top it off with stuff like fresh fruit, granola, nuts, chocolate, whatever. Since the pudding will continue to thicken over time, I always tend to thin it out with more milk right before eating. But you don't have to. I also never seem to measure these days, but generally 1 1/2 cups of liquid to 4 tablespoons of chia will start you off well.

Classic Vanilla Chia Pudding

4 tablespoons chia seeds
1 1/2 cups milk of choice
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons honey - or to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together in a container and refrigerate overnight. Eat.

And now the version that you see here:

Vanilla Almond & Plum Chia Pudding

Desired amount of classic vanilla chia pudding
vanilla almond milk
1 plum, pitted and chopped

Place pudding in a small bowl and pour in almond milk to taste. Mix and top with chopped plum pieces.