Monthly Archives: January 2012

Good Things to Come . . .

Happy Monday everyone!  Today I woke up super excited, ready to jump into my day with both feet in.  My husband and I have the day off together and are charting how we are going to spend our time today.  It feels so good to have someone who fully supports your dreams and is willing to be hands and feet to make it happen, and I am grateful for that.  With that said, I want to encourage everyone to build their dream.  If you build it, the people will come – and some will even come with helping hands to help you build it.  If you give yourself to it (your passion), it will give itself to you.  I am a living witness of that.  There are big things in store for “The Prepared Table 73” . . . I can feel it!

Now changing gears, you might ask, how am I spending my first official week off the Daniel Fast?  Well, definitely not like I did last year.  I feel good about the food experience I have had on the Daniel diet, and am going to temper it into my new normal diet.  I will enjoy incredible foods richly, but the quality has to be there before it crosses my mouth.  We don’t normally ascribe net worth to our food, but that is how I am starting to think about food.  Will this meal I consume cause me to reap good residual dividends?  Will it prove to be an asset, or a liability?  Food is one of our most important investments, and we should not be afraid to put good stock in it.

So today, I will enjoy a nice, sit-down, quality lunch with my husband at one of our favorite spots, have my fresh lime-mint water, and enjoy this amazingly beautiful day. Tomorrow, we will start leaning into my next blog series, “Quality over Quantity, ” where we will discuss how to find and invest in quality over quantity – at bargain prices.  It does not have to cost a fortune to eat well – and we will show you how to do it well, without breaking the bank.  Are you ready for the challenge?  I know I am.  See you in tomorrow’s blog.  Now get out there and enjoy some sunshine.  You deserve it!

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized



“Taking it Easy” – Transitioning from the Daniel’s Fast

“I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!”  It was 8:30 am and I had almost overslept.  I had been waiting for this appointment for 3 weeks – had my clothes laid out and keys ready to head out the door.  Thirty minutes later, I had made it there just in time!  Destination?  Cracker Barrel!  Yep, it was all I could think about some mornings during the fast, and I could not wait to have that pancake sampler with 2 pancakes mounded high with cherry glaze and whipped cream, scrambled eggs, hashbrown casserole, country ham, sausage, bacon, and a side of biscuits with molasses, washed down by a tall glass of orange juice.  I enjoyed every bite too – until I got halfway through it and could barely drive myself home.  Now my new destination?  Go home, lie down, and try to recuperate!

This was my story last year.  I had endured 3 weeks of fasting and I should be rewarded with my favorite breakfast – right?  I quickly realized that it was too much, too fast, too soon.  My body was not ready to be introduced to every food group at one time.  Did I know better?  Yep!  I had heard the stories of making sure you take it slow by introducing foods back into your diet, and I learned the wisdom in that the hard way.  So today, I am going to share a few tips to help you transition back to a normal diet.

First question you should ask yourself is “What is my new normal?”  What foods have the Holy Spirit convicted me of during the fast that have not been good for me?  Now that your body is accustomed to eating Daniel style, you may find that you don’t crave sweets or meats as much.  Don’t give your body an onslaught by jumping back into them just because you “can.”  Have a plan for how you want to continue to eat, and make it as balanced as possible.  I suggest introducing one food group at a time over the course of a week so you can see what reaction your body has to it.  I found for me, my allergies were worse if I consumed wheat products, and I was fatigued if I ate sugar, so common sense would tell me to defer adding them in.  You might start by first introducing dairy back, while continuing to eat fruits, vegetables, and soups.  Do this for a couple of days and if you feel good, advance to something else.

When introducing meats, you definitely want to do it slowly.  Don’t start with a heavy meat like beef.  Instead, start with chicken, then work up from there.  Your digestive system is not ready to start digesting a lot of meat (and beef is pretty hard to digest in general), so chicken, or better yet fish, would be a wonderful way to start.  Grill or bake your meats.  I would stay away from frying them up, especially coming off a fast, or you may find yourself “worshipping the porcelain throne.”

Ahhhh….Coffee.  Yes, that first cup could be your kryptonite!  Caffeine is addictive – period.  I would tread softly on coffee and tea.  Start off by drinking herbal teas, and if you must introduce coffee, start with a good decaffeinated one.  I love organic decaffeinated coffee, and it suits my taste on the rare morning I want to enjoy a nice cup of coffee.  I would hate for you to get back into an addictive cycle of being dependent on a cup of coffee or food just to make it through the day, so start with the obvious culprits.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you want to break the cycle!  Your body will naturally crave what you give it, so if you give it good things, it will have an affinity towards craving good things.  If you don’t have a plan, you will probably fall into this cycle of craving:  Sweets – Salty – Fried – then sweets – salty, and so on . . .you get the picture.  After 21 days, YOU should be the dictator over what you want your body to consume instead of “king stomach” calling the shots.  Bottom line is you want to continue to feel good, and you can enjoy real good – feel good food.  So before you devour that box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, or rush to get that burger from Jack’s, you might want to develop a plan first.  Be warned…driving off with that burger and fries from Jack’s might be all you need to “jack yourself back up!”  Trust me, I know 😉

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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized



Sneak Peek at tomorrow’s blog . . .”Taking it Easy”

Thanks to everyone who has followed the “Eating Good – Daniel Style!” blog series.  Tomorrow’s blog and the weekend edition will show you how to TRANSITION from the Daniel diet into your normal diet, which is equally as important.  Be careful . . .and don’t hurt yourself 🙂

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized



“Eating Good – Daniel Style!” Day 21 The Final Bow

Well it is Day 21 of the Daniel Fast, and our last hoorah to “Eating Good – Daniel Style!”  The whole purpose of this 21-day series was to show that you CAN eat deliciously wonderful dishes while on the “Daniel Diet.”  I know for myself, I was able to try new vegetarian dishes that I will definitely be enjoying off the fast.  As I was thinking about what I liked the most about this fast as it relates to food and health, it would be the fact that it touched on pretty much ALL the top offending culprits to eating – SUGAR, MEAT, YEAST, DAIRY, CAFFEINE, and GLUTEN ALLERGY if you chose to not consume wheat products.  You talk about an all in one shot of a diet – this is definitely a winner, and I can see why it has God’s favor upon it!  So as you go about redefining your diet, just keep in mind what this diet has done for YOU!  Some have touted more energy, better sleep, better control of their hypertension and diabetes, lessened problems with allergies . . .the list goes on.

So let’s give one last final bow of honor to “Eating Good – Daniel Style!”  But keep following us on this blog, because I am sure we have a few other “styles” of dining that we will be exalting as well. Now I get to branch off into some fun topics on food and holistic living on this site that I have been anxiously awaiting to do.

Below is an amazing article about Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” and how the Daniel diet transformed not only his life, but the members at his church as well.  If every church and home adopted this principle, I believe we could stop obesity and its related illnesses in its tracks.  Be blessed by it, and see you around on the blog.  You’ll find me hanging out around here somewhere 🙂

Rick Warren and church tackle obesity –

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized



“From Daniel Style – To Doggie Style!” Day 20 Early Edition

“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”  (Proverbs 26:11)

I know…I know.  Some of you clicked this link thinking I was about to share some “escapade” with you, but I don’t get down like that . . . . . on my blog 😉

What I want to talk about today is the challenge set before us as the veil of the fast will soon be lifted and we resort back to eating our “normal” diet.  Your body is clean, mind sharper, skin brighter, waist smaller – all the beautiful things that happen after completing the journey of a fast.  You thought you couldn’t do this, but you did!  Now that it is almost over, what will we do?  Some of us are already thinking of our next meal, piled up high, with a side of “whatever,” only to spiral back into the downward cycle of a way of eating that it took 21 days to fight off.  Has all this sacrifice taught us nothing?  I use the analogy of a dog returning to its vomit because a dog will sop up anything you set before him without asking any questions.  He doesn’t care if it is thrown together, he just knows to him it tastes good, and in less than 3 minutes flat he has licked the bowl clean anticipating another serving.  And if he gets sick and throws up – he might walk away for a moment, but he will return back and sop it up too 😦

That is how some of us are.  We KNOW some of the things we have eaten have made us sick, but we return right back to it.  We know before we unwrap it and put it in our mouths that it will provide no nutritional value whatsoever, just a moment of empty pleasure.  One slogan I use with The Prepared Table 73 is “real good – feel good” food.  Food should taste real good and most of all make us feel good.  Who told us that we cannot have both?  By now, you should have mastered a few healthy meals in the kitchen, with an appreciation for fresh whole foods.  The 21 days were not a time to endure something, but to LEARN something.  You thought it was all spiritual, but an unhealthy body will indeed affect your spiritual life.  Try getting up to pray when your blood pressure is high, or preaching when your sugar is too low, and see how much mileage you get.

The whole notion of this blog today is for us to think about all the good things we have reaped during this time, and incorporate at least a few elements into our new normal  that we will create.  You might decide to have salads more, have meatless Monday dinners, do a vegetarian plate some nights, or just make the decision to buy real whole foods.  Whatever your decision is, just make sure you make one!  There is a big shift now in people caring about the food they eat, and I think it is here to stay.  I know for me, there are certain things I will not eat and certain restaurants I can say I will never patronize again!  Listen to your body and it will be an instant-read thermometer for what foods keep you in balance, and which ones don’t agree with you.  Even as we are on the eve of the last day of the 21 day fast, this blog will continue on  infinitely to do what it does best – “talk about all things food and whole-listic living.”  We will have fun along the way, chat, laugh, share –  all the while enjoying this newfound freedom in food that we have discovered.  Feel free to leave a comment of your experience.  Blessings to you on your journey . . .

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized



“Eating Good – Daniel Style!” Day 19 Smoothies

Yesterday I discussed alternative drink ideas for the Daniel Fast, and today I want to discuss smoothies.  Who can resist a smoothie?  That creamy, luscious, sweet concoction can be the start of a beautiful morning, and the finishing touch to a wonderful dinner.  For some, it can even be a meal replacement.  Let’s face it, smoothies are big business – and a lot of times what they are touting as “all-fruit” smoothies are in essence chock full of syrupy fruit and artificial ingredients and preservatives.  My daughter bought a “smoothie” from McDonald’s and did not finish it all, and to her surprise when she looked at the cup the next morning, her orange smoothie had disintegrated to a “green” liquid?  What?  Mmm….hmm…you get the picture 😦

With that said, that is why you are much better off making your own, and I am going to give you some basics on how to build the best smoothies to ever pass your mouth, so follow me.  You will need a good blender or a food processor to make smoothies.  I own a Cuisinart food processor that I use to make my smoothies in, and I love the fact that I have one piece of equipment that can do a myriad of things in my kitchen.  Just buy a quality blender or food processor (best place I have found is Sam’s or Costco as they have an excellent return policy and are usually cheaper).

1.  First let’s start with the basics.  A smoothie basically consists of 3 things:  ” non dairy milk”, frozen fruit, and juice to make it “Daniel friendly.”  So the equation is:  base (nondairy milk) + filling (frozen fruit) + juice (liquid thinner).

The base would consist of either coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk.  I choose my base ingredient based on what tastes good to me, and what complements the fruit I am using.  For example, pineapples and mangos are fantastic with coconut milk or almond, and berries are good with a lighter milk like almond or soy, but ultimately choose a base that you would ENJOY drinking!  I LOVE coconut milk in my smoothies, but instead of buying the bland coconut milk that comes in the carton, I buy a can of unsweetened coconut milk (Thai Kitchens is an excellent brand), add 2 cups of apple juice, pour in a glass bottle with a top, and store in the fridge.  Then when I am ready to make a  smoothie, I give a few shakes and pour it up.  This yields a deep, flavorful, coconut base that is perfectly thinned like milk because of the apple juice.

The fruit filling would consist of any frozen fruit you love.  Bananas, berries, mangos, peaches, and pineapples are pretty much the top fruits used.  I usually buy the huge frozen bags of fruit at Costco or Sam’s that have a medley of the fruit I like above.  For the bananas, I ALWAYS use ripe bananas that I have cut up and frozen in storage bags.  Why?  Because frozen bananas give you the creamy sweetness that you want.  If you use unfrozen fresh fruit, you will find that your smoothie will be more runny and you will have to use ice, which to me defeats the purpose.  In my opinion, frozen is best, in this case, so if you have fresh fruit on hand, freeze it first.  I would stay away from apples, melons, pears, grapes, etc.  Stick with fruit that you would not have a problem finding frozen.

The top juices to use in smoothies are orange juice, apple juice, and pineapple juice.  Of course you could use cranberry juice in a berry smoothie if you would like, but once again, you want to pick a juice that complements the flavor of your fruit.  For example, mangoes and pineapple are fantastic with orange and pineapple juice.  For me, I usually use orange and apple juice in all of my smoothies – orange for its robust citrusy flavor, and apple juice to help to thin it out, if needed.  When it comes to juices, make sure you are using 100% fruit juice.  I prefer to use refrigerated juices that are “not from concentrate” or “organic’ as they tend to not have any added water, preservatives, or flavors – just the pure natural tasting essence of the juice.  I love the Simply Orange brand of juices for my smoothies, which you can find at any grocery store, as they have a good orange and apple juice variety.

Now let’s build….

I usually use this ratio of ingredients:  1:1:1:1 – 1 cup of base, 1 cup of frozen fruit, 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of juice.  You can tweak it to meet your consistency, adding less or more.  I usually always include a frozen banana in my fruit as this is what makes it creamy and sweet (a huge difference), but if you do not like bananas, you can leave it off.  All you do is dump everything in at the same time, blend until nice and smooth to your desired consistency (adding more liquid if needed), and that is it!  Then pour in a glass, pop in a straw, and you are good to go!  You can double the ratio if you are making it for 2 people.  I do like to garnish my glass with an orange slice to make it festive.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to smoothies.  Once you taste the quality of what you can make at home, you won’t be tempted to drop $4 to $5 dollars for a sub par version of the real thing.  Stay tuned, for in the future I will take it up a notch and do another post on some over-the-top healthy and yummy smoothie ideas to enjoy off the fast!  Check out my blog for recipes and helpful tips.  Cheers!

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized



My fav coconut milk


This is now my official go to coconut milk I use in recipes…even smoothies!  I found the coconut milk in the carton to be too bland.  I mix one can of this coconut milk with 2 cups of good apple juice, store in glass bottle in refrigerator, and use it as a base for my smoothies.  The creamy deep coconut flavor is unmatched…and it’s good for you…healthy fat 🙂

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized



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