Paleo Grain Free Granola

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This granola is SO stinkin delicious! Even if you aren’t paleo or grain free you will want to give this one a try!

Paleo Grain Free Granola

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with parchment Combine all dry ingredients, nuts, seeds and coconut in a bowl until well tossed.

Cook honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot, stir occasionally. You will cook this for about 1 minute. Pour this sauce over the nuts and seed mixture and stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

Enjoy on top of yogurt or all on its own for a delicious snack! We store ours in a giant mason jar and eat it throughout the week.

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My Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe

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Every time I drink a green smoothie I totally feel like fist bumping myself for all the vegetables I just consumed in one meal. This specific smoothie recipe reminds me so much of our first year of marriage. We were newly weds in ministry who were trying to eat healthy on an extreme budget and these smoothies were our breakfast for close to a year. I stopped drinking them when I got pregnant with our first baby because my aversion for bananas was STRONG and once we got out of the habit I forgot about them.



A few weeks ago I tried to recall the recipe and nailed it on the head! I took one sip and was immediately brought back to our one bedroom condo off of Sea Cliff, our first tiny little home. Oh how life has changed since then. Thankfully the deliciousness of this smoothie has still remained the same.

 
 



It is made with avocado, lemon, loads of mixed greens, maca powder, banana, ice and water. The healthy fats in the avocado keep you feeling satisfied and full for longer and the maca powder is an adaptogenic herb that has endless benefits (some of the top ones being increased libido and fertility….hmmmm maybe this is why we got pregnant so quickly when we were drinking these every day??). But seriously go google maca powder and read up on those benefits! Our local Costco carries a giant bag of Organic Maca for only $8.99 but you can get it at almost any health food store or on Amazon.



Ok so are you ready for the actual recipe?



Paige’s Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe



  • 1/2 Ripe Avocado

  • 1/2 or 1 Whole Banana (I like to freeze mine to make my smoothies creamier)

  • 1/2 Peeled Lemon

  • Fill the rest of the blender with mixed greens, about 3 cups worth (I use the Power Greens mix from Costco and keep it in my freezer to keep it from going bad)

  • 1/2 TBSP Maca Powder (can also do ashwaganda powder)

  • 1 cup water

  • Additional Ice Cubes if desired

  • Bonus: add a probiotic capsule + a greens capsule. I get both of mine from Young Living



Put it all in the blender, blend it all up and give yourself a fist bump because you just consumed a TON of amazing nutrients! ENJOY!

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xoxo,
Paige HIlken


My Journey With Young Living Essential Oils

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A year and a half ago I was scrolling Facebook when I saw a friend post about a couple of oils that were supporting her son through the croup sickness he was dealing with. At the time our oldest son Peyton, who was only one at the time, was getting sick with the croup (a really bad "barking cough" and wheezy breathing) at least once a month. A lot of the nights he would get the croup we would end up in the ER because his breathing would get so bad and we had nothing to support him at home.

 

When I saw the post about these oils I knew I had nothing to lose by trying them out. I ordered my kit and the box arrived the day before we were going on a big family vacation to Cabo. I was so excited to get the oils that I brought them all on our trip with us and they ended up being a Godsend as Peyton got a croup attack the second night we were there. I put the oils to use in the diffuser, rubbed them on his chest and peace of mind rushed over us as he started to calm down and breathe a little better. I was immediately sold and knew that oils would forever be a part of our life.

 

After that trip to Cabo I started using the oils for everything! Every month I was learning something new in the oily Facebook group I was a part of and month by month I started swapping the toxic products I was using out for non-toxic ones using the Young Living Oils and their other product lines. As I got more and more educated I was continuously shocked at the harmful ingredients that were in the products I was using around my home and on my kids. I was so thankful to have a one stop shop where I could replace almost every product in our home, from my makeup, to my laundry soap to my kids toothpaste. 

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Today we use oils for everything in our home, from immune system support and wellness, to making DIY products, to first aid type things, emotional support, restful sleep and so much more. I've been blown away by the power of these little plants in a bottle and how fascinating the science behind them actually is. The oils and other products from Young Living have blessed our family so much that it's hard to believe I used to clean, parent or just straight up live without them! 

 

Over the last year and a half I have gained so much peace of mind, added the most incredible tools to my tool belt as the gatekeeper of my home and truly believe these products deserve a place in everyones home. Before I found Young Living we had no idea that there were other options for the products we were using on a day to day basis, or that the products that we were using had scary side effects that were doing more harm than good. But now we know better and when we know better, we do better. It is now one of my greatest passions to help other families know better! 

 

The way we initially got started is the way I’d recommend any family interested in embarking on their wellness journey get started: the Premium Starter Kit.

 

As a wholesale member, you also get 24% off everything, always, which is hugely beneficial when you’re like me and you want to dip your toe into slowly transforming your home little by little.

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If you are ready grab your premium starter kit and join my amazing community of oilers CLICK HERE and then follow the steps laid out in the images below. 

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Once you have ordered your kit be sure to send me a message on Facebook or Instagram to let me know so I can get you plugged into our community of resources and support! We can't wait to welcome you with open arms and walk along side of you as you make these helpful changes for your family and in your home! Getting these oils and non-toxic products into people's homes is a true passion of mine and I'm so excited to have you on this journey with me! 

xoxo Paige Hilken

Swap This For That: Dryer Sheets

 
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I remember reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy when I was a sophomore in high school and my mind was blown! The entire book was teaching more on the concept of how small actions every day compound over time to create big results. I'm so glad I read that book at such a young age because I think it has contributed to a lot of the success I have had in different areas of my life! It has allowed me to tackle big goals with small steps and it has led me to creating massive change in the areas of my life such as health, mindset and our home! 

Because I want others in my life to experience the life change they are looking for without feeling like they need to completely change their life I decided to start a series called "Swap This For That." My hope is that by swapping out a few ingredients in some recipes, products in our homes and negative mindset habits that eventually we will end up in a much healthier, more positive place in our lives!! 

To kick things off I'm diving into the area of non-toxic living and sharing all about dryer sheets! We will talk about why we should swap them out and what we can swap them out for! If you would rather read than watch feel free to scroll past the video to get all of the info! 

Item we are swapping:

Dryer Sheets

Why we are swapping the item: 

Dryer sheets are one of those common household products that most Americans use and never think twice about. As I've had more kids and my laundry load has gone through the roof I decided to research what I was using to clean and soften the sea of clothes I was always swimming in. I headed over to the Environmental Working Group website to learn more about the ingredients in dryer sheets because the ingredients aren't listed on the packaging itself (red flag #1). I was surprised to find that in the United States companies aren't required to list the ingredients in their dryer sheets. Once I started to learn more about the ingredients actually in them I learned why. Dryer sheets often contain benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders, chloroform (a known  neurotoxin and carcinogen) and fragrance (aka hundreds of other toxic chemicals combined together to make a smell). One of those chemicals commonly found in the fragrance in dryer sheets is acetyl-adahyde, the exact stuff that comes out of the exhaust pipes in our cars!! Shocking right?! As you can see dryer sheets have many dangerous ingredients that I personally want to stay away from, especially because the ingredients rub off on the clothes that we wear every single day!! 

What can we use instead?: 

Wool dryer balls with a couple drops of essential oils are an amazing option to still have delicious smelling, non-staticky laundry without the harmful side effects. I order my wool dryer balls off of amazon (of course) and they are supposed to last for over 1000 loads! The dryer balls also cut down on dry time, making them a more efficient option as well. Every couple of loads I drop a few drops of my favorite essential oils onto the balls to leave my laundry smelling extra fresh! My favorite oils for this are purification, citrus fresh and peppermint! (For the non-toxic laundry soap I use is from Young Living as well). It can also be beneficial to add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to each rinse cycle for some extra added softness! 

I hope you've enjoyed the first edition of "Swap This For That." As always let me know if you have any questions! I'm always here to be a resource! 

xoxo Paige Hilken

 
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Healthy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

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A month after Christopher and I got married we were heading up to summer camp with our ministry of 11th and 12th graders! It was at the Sacramento Delta river and we were going to be on houseboats all week. It was us, 150 eleventh and twelfth graders and about 15 other leaders. I had been on the trip the year prior and learned the hard way that camp food is no bueno when you are required to be gluten and dairy free. Basically every meal contains white flour, milk or cheese of some sort. Luckily I had thrown in a few cliff bars for back up but most of the week I either didn’t eat, or I did and suffered the consequences. 

 

So this particular year I knew that I needed to come to camp prepared in the food department. I needed something that didn’t require refrigeration, didn’t take up much space and that would be filling as a snack in between banana boating and jumping off houseboats! Cue these cookies...well a version of these cookies. 

 

These cookies used to contain banana and I don’t think they started with peanut butter in the mix. The bananas had to go when I got pregnant for the first time because they were my first food aversion and they never came back because I ended up liking the recipe better without them. And then at some point I added peanut butter so they would have more protein and well because peanut butter makes everything better right?! 

 

Now that I’ve perfected the recipe I love making these cookies at the beginning of every week so my kids and I can have a healthy snack option in the afternoons that feels more like a treat! I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do! 

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Oat Cookies 

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 cup of natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2.5 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips, nuts or craisins if desired

 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract until smooth. 
  3. Add in the oats, cinnamon, salt and any add ins and continue to mix until well combined. 
  4. Scoop out little balls onto the baking sheet however big you desire and bake for 9 minutes. 
  5. Let them cool or be a rebel and eat them fresh out of the oven because what’s better than warm cookies?! 
 
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Truth Journaling: When Envy Starts to Rot Your Bones

Truth journaling has completely changed my life and allowed me to have an effective way to consistently renew my mind. It has pulled me out of seasons of being addicted to work, seasons of getting caught in certain sins and allowed me to break free from certain strongholds in my life. Today I wanted to share what a real life truth journaling session looks like for me. This session was done when I got caught in the comparison trap and was letting envy get the best of me. 

 
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Today I was angry. I was angry because she has three kids too and seems to have a perfect work life balance. She seems to be accomplishing everything that I want to be accomplishing while still being the mom that I want to be. Envy crept in and I could feel it taking hold of my body. My heart started racing, my brain became foggy. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” I felt the truth of that verse so strongly. The envy led me to feel like I needed to start working harder right then and there because if I didn't I would fall behind. In a moment I started to feel like my kids were more of a burden than a blessing because they were standing in my way of doing what I thought I should be doing. Things got ugly. I BECAME ugly. 
 

I'm was sitting there starting to feel panicky and I didn't know what to do to get the feelings to go away.  How did things escalate so fast and bring my heart from a place of peace and contentment to one of overwhelm and envy? 


I got to that place because I compared myself to someone and to make it worse I compared myself to someone through social media where I don't even know if they are posting their full reality. People who look at my social media don’t know all of my behind the scenes and hard moments throughout the day. She is probably the same way. For some reason telling myself that wasn't enough though. I still felt anxious and my fast heart beat wouldn't calm down. I didn't feel like I had the strength to overcome the feelings that had build up on my own. So what did I do?

I grounded myself. I took a couple deep breaths, turned my worship music on, rubbed some oils on my wrists and opened my Bible to remind myself of God's truth. It was time to renew my mind so that I don't continue to conform to these patterns of comparison and envy that I was falling into. If you aren't familiar with the process of renewing your mind, the renewing of the mind is a time that we can bring our problems to God and He helps us see them from His perspective. One of my favorite ways to renew my mind is through truth journaling. When I’m truth journaling I like to write out my initial thoughts and feelings, then God's truth on that topic from scripture and then a statement of truth that I can replace my initial thoughts with. 

 

Here is how I renewed my mind today when I felt paralyzed and didn't know how to overcome the feelings I had let myself get caught up in. My hope is that if you are stuck in a similar scenario that this can help you too: 

 

  • Initial Thoughts and Feelings: I am less than and inadequate because I am not accomplishing as much as she is. 
  • Gods Truth From Scripture: Galatians 6:4-5 “Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of. You must each accept the responsibilities that are yours.”
  • Statement of Truth: God has a unique calling and purpose for me and it is not the same as anyone else. As long as I am moving forward in the race God has called me to run, I am accomplishing all that I need to be accomplishing.

 

  • Initial Thoughts and Feelings: My children are a burden right now. They are preventing me from accomplishing what I want to accomplish. 
  • Gods Truth: Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”
  • Statement of Truth: My children weren’t given to me as a penalty or a burden, they were given to me as a blessing and a reward. God calls us to steward the gifts He has given us so it is my calling and greatest accomplishment to be their mom and fulfill those duties well.  

 

This was a short journaling session and afterwards I immediately started to feel more peace within my heart. The feelings of anxiety and envy dissipated and the anger that was building up towards my kids started to melt away. Sometimes the process of renewing my mind takes a lot longer and there have been seasons where I've felt like I was never going to have a breakthrough.  However, with consistency and loads of prayer the breakthrough has always come. There are many times throughout life where you won't feel like you have the capacity to overcome a specific scenario that you are dealing with or a certain sin you are trying to conquer and renewing your mind through truth journaling is a great way to let go and let God.

 

Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"

 

xoxo Paige Hilken

Gluten Free Banana Pancakes

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When Christopher and I first got married we lived in a little one bedroom condo in a community called Sea Cliff. Every Saturday Christopher would play flag football right up the street from our house and I would jog there to workout at the park. We would come back home and I would cook these banana pancakes as a fun little treat! 

If you know our story, you know that a short six months after we got married our first baby was growing inside of my tummy and I had the worst nausea/morning sickness! Unfortunately one of the most repulsive smells to me at the time was bananas so we said a temporary goodbye to our beloved pancakes. Thankfully midway through pregnancy #2 I was able to tolerate bananas again so the pancakes made a comeback. Now we love sharing these pancakes with our kiddos and they are totally obsessed! Sometimes I'll even make them in big batches so we can have some for healthy snacks throughout the week! I hope your family enjoys them as much as ours does!! 

Fun Nutrition Fact of the Day: Ripe bananas (ones with brown spots) actually have something called TNF (tumor necrosis factor), which can help destroy cancerous tumors. TNF interferes with the growth and spread of tumor cells and triggers apoptosis (cell death). The riper the banana, the better the anti-cancer qualities it has! 

 

Gluten Free Banana Pancakes

(makes 9-12 pancakes)

 

Ingredients 

2.5 Cups Uncooked Oats
2 Eggs
1 Large Ripe Banana
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Cinnamon (more if desired) 
1.5 Cups water (may need to add more as you go as batter thickens when it sits)

Instructions 

  1. Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend together. 
  2. Heat a pan or griddle on medium/high heat and pour around 1/4 cup batter into pan. Add chocolate chips if desired. 
  3. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on each side. 
  4. Serve hot or they reheat great as well for a snack later in the day! 
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xoxo Paige Hilken

Spicy Korean Pork Medallions w/ Slaw

Here at She Is Claimed we believe that the body is the vehicle God has blessed us with to fulfill the purpose and vision He has for us here on earth. We choose to nourish our bodies not so we can look a certain way but instead so we can serve God and love those around us best! (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Here is a healthy recipe to enjoy so you can nourish that beautiful gift! 

 
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When Christopher and I were dating we celebrated our first Easter together (with my sister too) over a pork tenderloin and potatoes. I seasoned the meat with salt, pepper and rosemary and we dipped it in balsamic vinegar. It was delicious but when it came to pork tenderloin that was the only way I knew how to make it. One day we got a home meal delivery box on Groupon and they put a Korean spicy twist on their pork tenderloin I knew it was going to become a new staple in our house that I needed to recreate. 

 

This meal is probably a little too spicy for children (unless you substitute the sriracha) but according to my husband it was some BOMB food. I know a dish is good when he tells me it’s good without me asking him if he likes it (which I always do...gotta get that affirmation somehow haha)! 

 

Plus this dish is super healthy! Fun Nutrition fact of the day...Cabbage is a great source of manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is also rich in various vitamins including vitamin C, B6, A, K, and E. It’s basically a superfood that you want to get in your body as much as possible! I used to actually juice cabbage for Christopher when he had stomach ulcers and it helped cure them! Powerful stuff!! 

 

So grab your apron and let’s get cooking! I can’t wait for you to enjoy this dish as much as we did! 

 

Spicy Korean Pork Medallions w/ Slaw 

Servings 2 (can be doubled for more)
Prep/Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients 

1 Pork Tenderloin
4 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar
2 Green Onions
2 Garlic Cloves (minced) 
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Minced Ginger
2 Tbsp Sriracha
1 Red Fresno Chile (red bell pepper would work too) 
2.5 tsp Tamari (gluten free soy sauce) 
1 Tblsp Light Brown Sugar
8 oz Slaw Mix (buy the pre-made mix from the store) 
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds for Garnish 

 

Instructions

1. Chop and prepare all ingredients. Mince the garlic, stem and seed the Fresno Chile,  slice green onions and cut the pork tenderloin into medallions, 1/2-3/4” thick. 

2. Prepare the marinade by combining half of the seasoned rice vinegar (2 Tbsp), Tamari soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, ginger and garlic. 

3. Place the pork in the marinade and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

 
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4. While the pork marinates prepare the Slaw by mixing together the Slaw mix, the remaining rice vinegar, sesame oil, green onions and salt. Toss together and set aside.

 
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5. Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add pork medallions to hot pan an cook 3-4 minutes/side. 

6. During the last minute of cooking add the remaining marinade to the pan and coat the pork with it until it becomes a sticky glaze. 

7. Plate, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve. 

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xoxo Paige Hilken 

A 4 Step Method to Knowing God's Will For Your Life

 
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The questions start when we are pretty young. God, what college do you want me to go to? What should I major in? Should I date this person? And as we get older though the questions don’t stop. Should I marry this person? Should I move to this city? Should I take this job? Should we start having kids? 

These are questions that we all wrestle with regularly and while sometimes I wish the Bible had specific instructions for every individual and for exact circumstances, that would defeat the point of us having free will.

So how can we know Gods will for our lives so we can get clear answers to some of our biggest questions? 

I personally have a four step method I follow to determine if something is God's will for my life based on the truth we find in scripture. However, I think its important to first talk about some of the misunderstandings surrounding a few of the methods used to determine God’s will. If we don’t first understand which methods for finding God’s will are being misunderstood then most of us will remain confused about the truth and what we are actually called to do. 

 

Here are three misunderstandings about God’s will:

 

Misunderstanding #1: God will open doors in your life to communicate His will for you. 

“God opened the door for this job opportunity so it must be the right job for me.” 

When we read the verses in the Bible about God “opening” doors” in their correct context these open doors aren’t immediate confirmation that we should walk through those doors. The open doors are presented as opportunities for us to either take or not take. In 2 Corinthians 2:12-13  we see that even though God gave Paul an “open door” to preach the gospel in Troas he made the decision to instead travel to Macedonia. As we can see, opportunity doesn’t always equal the will of God. God may open doors for us but we still have free will to choose which doors to walk through. 

 

Misunderstanding #2: God will audibly communicate His will for your life to you.  

“I heard God speak to me and tell me that we were supposed to move to another state” 

In scripture it never says that we will receive extra revelation from God through hearing Him audibly speak. In fact, in Rev 22: 18-19 it says that there are severe consequences when we add to God's word and prophecy.  

In the Old Testament times God spoke directly and audibly to a few prophets for a very specific purpose. He revealed Himself through the prophets and they communicated His words to the people. In present times God speaks through the son Jesus. We have the privilege of “hearing” more of God today than in any other time in history because we have access to all four gospels, where Jesus’s voice is laced all throughout. There is no need to seek signs or God's voice outside of the scripture. 

Misunderstanding #3: You will know something is God’s will for your life if you feel complete peace about a decision you are making. 

“I feel so much peace about this decision so it must be Gods will.”

When people talk about having peace in regards to making a decision they usually are referring the verse Philipians 4:7  where it says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” As always its important to look at this verse in context. The peace gifted to us by God in this passage is a direct result of us casting our anxieties and requests upon Him. It does not say that the peace from God is a sign that we should move forward with a decision. 

When it comes to our feelings scripture is very clear that we need to be cautious because our feelings can be misleading. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all things.” Also in Romans 7:14-25 Paul shows us that it is possible to “feel at peace” about doing the wrong things and have an internal conflict with doing what is right. We can experience peace from God but it is a result of our relationship with him and not necessarily a green light to make a specific decision. 

 

So now that we know the common ways we can misunderstand God’s will for our lives what are the reliable ways we can know God’s will for our lives? 

 

Here is A four step method to determining God’s will when making a decision: 

 

  1. Pray. When I’m facing any decision I refer to Philippians 4:6-7 and through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving I let my requests be made known to God. When I pray in these scenarios we don’t want to pray for a sign or for God to speak to us and tell us His will audibly but instead we can ask God for wisdom and to speak to us through His word. 

  2. Then I go straight to the Bible and I ask myself if any of the choices I have in front of me contradict with anything in Gods word. The Bible provides us with the wholeness of what Jesus wanted to be communicated to us and gives us specific instructions and commands to follow. When we disobey anything He has told us to do in the Bible then we are acting outside of His will. You will also find that as you are in God's word consistently then your mind will be renewed and you will be transformed to a new way of thinking more like Christ (Romans 12:2). When we are transformed in this way we are able to better decipher the will of God for us. 
  3. Throughout scripture we are constantly called to be wise so my next step is to use wisdom. Using wisdom includes seeking godly mentorship, learning from my past experiences and thinking responsibly. The proverbs are chalked full of definitions of what wisdom is and is not. 
  4. Make the decision. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable officially taking this step and making a decision for ourselves. If you have two choices that are in alignment with the will God has given us through the Bible, you have presented your requests to God through prayer and you are using wisdom then go with whichever choice you want. At the end of the day God has a sovereign will and nothing that we do can prevent Him from accomplishing it. 

 

I think that often times we over complicate deciphering Gods will for our lives because we are confused on how to do it. If we can just remember that God is sovereign, He has given us his word for guidance and that we can gain wisdom to make proper decisions, then we can feel confident in the choices we are making (as confident as possible). Making decisions can be challenging but at the end of the day just know that God is more interested in who you are becoming than exactly what you are doing or where you are going! 

 

I would love to hear from you! 

  • What is a significant decision that you are facing right now where you are seeking Gods will? 
  • Have you ever been led astray by one of the common misinterpreted methods to discovering God’s will? 
  • Do these steps and truths about Gods will help you have clarity on how to make decisions in your life? 

 

xoxo Paige Hilken

Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Bread

It’s rich, it’s moist, it’s chocolatey, it's even healthy…it’s my all time favorite gluten free chocolate banana bread! It’s one of those recipes that is healthy because the ingredients are healthy but potentially unhealthy because its so dang good that you could eat the whole loaf in one sitting. I'm going to warn you now that you may want to double the recipe because if you're anything like us you will want to eat a loaf of this stuff a day! Ready.....lets bake!  

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Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

1 cup oat flour (oats blended in high speed blender)
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 large ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed) 
1 egg (sub 1 tblsp flax meal with 3 tblsp water if you want vegan) 
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with a non stick cooking spray and set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine together the oat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. 
  3. In a large bowl (or blender on low speed) mash the ripe bananas. Add in the egg, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. 
  4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients being careful to not overmix. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. 
  5. Pour batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top of the bread. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean besides any melted chocolate chips that may get on it. 
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and set on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Once the pan is cool you can remove the bread, slice and serve. 

 

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This bread will keep on the counter for up to 4 days and can also be frozen for up to a month but in my house it doesn’t even last a whole day because we eat it all up!!  Enjoy this melt in your mouth, delicious bread!! 

 

xoxo Paige 

Black Beans That ACTUALLY Taste Like They're From A Restaurant

 
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When I’m at any Mexican restaurant I love the black beans...when I make them at home, not so much. For a long time I thought that I could just pop open a can of black beans, add them to any Mexican dish and viola they would taste amazing but I was SO wrong. 

I just can’t get on board with the taste of plain black beans but I love them as a plant based protein source so I decided to experiment with some recipes! I definitely found a winner!! This black bean mix could be used as a topping on a burrito bowl or nachos or it could even be used as a dip with tortilla chips!! Enjoy! 

Wellness Paige Nugget: Black beans are amazing for your health because they are packed with plant based protein and fiber (around 7.5g of each/half cup serving). And as Tayna from the F-Factor (F for Fiber) says "Fiber and Protein at every meal makes losing weight no big deal." In addition to their great fiber and protein content they have lots of potassium for decreasing blood pressure, selenium for helping support the liver with detoxing and iron for maintaining healthy bone structure. Even more reason to pop open a can and try this recipe out! 

 

Black Beans 

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 diced onion
1 (15oz) can black beans
1/2 (10oz) can Rotel Original (5oz total)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 cup cilantro diced up
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste 


Instructions

In sauté pan heat garlic in oil on medium heat.

Add onion as oil begins to warm.

Add cumin and sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are tender, adding a few drops of water if they begin to stick.

Add the can of drained black beans and Rotel and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, to allow flavors to blend.

Add chopped cilantro and lime juice and stir. Mash the beans if that is the desired consistency. 

Serve.

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xoxo

The Wellness Paige

I Robbed My Husband

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Before we got married, in our pre-marital counseling class we were taught that expectations unsaid, always go unmet. It was a great piece of advice, advice that we have implemented throughout our marriage and passed on to other couples embarking on the same journey. I never had a problem with the advice until I realized that usually when I expect something from someone then I feel like I deserve it. And when I don’t get something I believe I deserve to get upset. The saying of, “expectations unsaid, always go unmet,” is a great concept at its core but I think it deserves a little more unpacking or else you might accidentally end up robbing the one you love just like I did. 

 

When I type out that I get upset when I don’t get something I think I deserve it kind of makes me cringe at myself. I sound like one of those girls from that show that used to be on TV, Sweet Sixteen, who would get upset at their parents when their cake had pink sprinkles instead of purple ones even after their parents had dropped $50k on their sixteenth birthday party. They expected pink sprinkles, they felt like they deserved pink sprinkles, so they were upset when they didn’t get them. I know it’s usually not as extreme of a scenario as being upset about the wrong colored sprinkles but I hope it gets the point across that usually we get upset when we don’t get what we feel we deserve. 

 

You see a couple years ago I got to the point where I thought my personal hopes, dreams and desires should be what our family was always working towards, regardless of whether or not it aligned with their hopes, dreams and desires. I was working hard at home to raise our babies during the days but I also had dreams of becoming an ultra successful entrepreneur. FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, because I was bringing in an income from home AND taking care of the kids I was always doing more than my husband and I felt like he always owed me something. 

 

I started to expect him to do more things around the house because I felt like he was in debt to me. In my mind, if we were on even playing field by both providing for our family financially then we needed to be on even playing field when it came to house hold duties, changing diapers, etc. Because I thought he owed me help in these areas. I didn’t perceive it as love when he took action and did these things for me. In fact I was hardly grateful at all because he was just doing what he was supposed to be doing, right? I robbed him of the ability to love me because I had put us in the roles of debt and debtor instead of husband and wife. It might not have been the same scenario but have you ever been there?! Have you ever robbed your spouse of the ability to love you because you let their love become an expectation, something you were owed? 

 

So how do we fix this? This was the question I had to ask myself as I started to see my marriage change for the worse right before my eyes. Well first and foremost we have to come to accept that we aren’t “owed” anything. Just like that 16 year old wasn’t owed an extravagant party or pink sprinkles on her cake we aren’t owed anything from our spouse. GASP!!!!.....I don’t know about you but for me that is a hard pill to swallow. What do you mean my spouse doesn’t owe me anything? Don’t I deserve a good life, a roof over my head, a clean house, the family with the amount of kids I’ve always desired?!! 

 

To put it simply, NO. This is going to sound harsh but we actually deserve nothing in this life because we are all sinners and what we deserve is death. Like I said, I know it’s harsh but it’s the truth and it’s what makes the gospel so beautiful. While we were sinners and deserved nothing Christ died for us and gave us everything. Is it ok to have hopes, dreams and desires, YES, absolutely! But the moment we pass off our hopes, dreams and desires to our spouse and EXPECT them to fulfill them and make them come true then we ROB them of the ability to love us. That’s why this post is titled, “I Robbed my Husband.” 

 

To explain a little more, marriage as Christ designed it between a husband and wife should be the ultimate submission contest. As it says in Ephesians 5 starting at verse 21, “SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER out of reverence for Christ. Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is head of the church, his body and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should SUBMIT IN EVERYTHING to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF UP for her....” 

 

Does this mean that we aren’t ever supposed to talk about what we desire in life and our marriage with our spouse? No. Communicating your desires, dreams and hopes with one another is a very healthy part of marriage. What it does mean is that once we have communicated those things to our spouse we can’t turn them into a box of expectations that we just hand off to them. We have to remember that they don’t owe it to you to make them come true. In a covenantal, Christ-centered marriage we owe one another everything but are owed nothing. We owe our spouse love and submission because of what Christ did for us but not because we inherently deserve it. 

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Ideally both parties should submit to one another as Christ commanded. I believe that is the secret to having a happy and fulfilling marriage the way God designed it. When Christopher (my husband) and I live out our marriage in this way our marriage is definitely firing on all cylinders.

 

But what if both parties don’t submit?! You might be scared right now and asking yourself the question, what if I step out in submission and they don’t respond by fulfilling my hopes dreams and desires? Usually when we have that fear it’s because in some way we are still holding onto the expectation that they owe us something in return. We are called to love not because our spouse loves us but because Christ loved us. As a Christian our goal in this life should be to become more like Christ and as you step out in fear to love, not knowing if you will be loved in return, you will get to experience what loving like Christ really feels like. I pray that your spouse eventually responds to your love and submission with love and submission towards you but until that happens just bask in the feeling of what loving how Christ did really feels like

 

Does this way of doing marriage sound radical?! That’s because it is. Living a life in obedience for Christ is RADICAL. We aren’t called to do marriage like everyone else. We are called to be Holy and set apart. When people look at your marriage do they see Christ and the representation of how He loved us?! Or do they see two selfish people trying to use their marriage to fulfill all of their personal hopes dreams and desires?! 

 

No matter which marriage you are in let us all do what Christ did for us...loved even when we didn’t deserve it, covenant-like love, with no strings attached. 

 

xoxo  Paige

Healthy Beef Goulash

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Goulash? What the heck is Goulash? I'm guessing maybe thats what you're asking yourself right now. I asked the same question growing up when my mom said that Goulash was for dinner. To my surprise the Goulash was delicious and the perfect comfort food to make in bulk! According to good old google Goulash is is a stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned with spices that originated in Hungary! In my definition its kind of like spaghetti with a twist!

I love making it because it provides our family meals for at least a couple days, is super quick to make and can be made really healthy! 

GOULASH RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs ground hamburger
1 large can crushed tomatoes with juice
3 - 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 large jar or can of marinara sauce (make sure there is no added sugar)
1 large diced onion
1 large diced red bell pepper
3 tsp worcestershire sauce
salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste

The sauce above can be served with any type of noodles or vegetables. We do either red lentil noodles ( which has 25g protein... ummm WOW), ancient harvest gluten free elbow noodles, zoodles (spiralized zucchini) or as shown here just roasted sweet potatoes. If you are using gluten free noodles just boil a new small batch every time vs putting all of the noodles into the sauce at once to prevent the noodles from getting soggy. 

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INSTRUCTIONS

1) Dice the onion and bell pepper and saute on medium heat until carmalized
2) Brown the ground beef in a separate pan until crumbled and cooked through
3) Combine all other ingredients in a large pan and add in the onions, bell peppers and beef
4) Add in salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste
5) Serve hot with noodles or veggies

I hope this recipe fills your belly just as much as it does mine! Happy Cooking! 

xoxo  Paige

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No More Junk Mail

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Unless I have something coming in the mail that I know I ordered, sorting through my mail generally isn't a super enjoyable experience for me. I don't enjoy sorting through all of the junk mail and then I feel wasteful every time I have to toss all of that junk mail in the trash. I decided to bite the bullet and do some research on what it takes to opt out of all the junk mail that flows into our mailbox each week. I was surprised at the overall ease of the process. If you want to reduce the junk mail coming to your mailbox follow these steps below: 

Step One: Start to Save All Mail 

This first step sounds contradictory to what we are doing, which is trying to get rid of all junk mail but hear me out. You will want to save your mail and make a list of all of the places that are sending you junk mail so you know what you need to unsubscribe from. 

Step Two: Opt Out of Credit Card and Insurance Offers

To opt out of credit card and insurance offers you can visit this website (Opt Out Prescreen). This website is funded by Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion (the four major credit monitoring agencies) and it exists because the ability to opt out is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). All you will have to do is click opt out, enter in your personal information and you will be given a form to print and mail in to be permanently removed from their mailing lists. Remember to "opt out" all adults living in your house. 

Step Three: Cancel Your Weekly Grocery Store Ads

Some of you may enjoy getting these shopping flyers to your mailbox and if that is the case then you can skip this step. I personally never look at the ads so I wanted to make sure I stopped receiving them. To cancel these mailers look at the front and back of the publication that the other ads are held inside. The company name should be listed right on there. We receive most of our ads from Red Plum but I included two other popular companies as well below with the direct link to click, fill out your info and unsubscribe. Most of these companies allow you to view their ads online so you don't have to miss out on any savings. Keep in mind that it sometimes takes up to 5-6 weeks for these changes to become effective. 

To cancel your weekly mailers from these companies, click the relevant link below:
Cancel Red Plum (Valassis)
Cancel Penny Saver
Cancel Valpak 

Step Four: Cancel Catalog Subscriptions 

A lot of the time we receive catalogs from a company if we purchased something from that company previously, if the company we purchased from sold our name to another company or sometimes for no good reason at all. To stop receiving unwanted catalogs you can go to catalogchoice.org. You will be prompted to create a log in and then you can click "cancel a catalog." This will bring you to an A-Z list of all the catalog options you can unsubscribe from with instructions on how to do so. 

If you want to prevent future catalogs from being sent to you then when you make a purchase make sure you tell the company, "Do not send me catalogs, do not share my information with others."  To do this you may have to order over the phone. 

Step Five: Cancel All Other Subscriptions

This last step will take a little more work but if you want to stop getting junk mail for the rest of your life then it will be worth it. At this point you will have to contact individual organizations and ask them to stop sending you stuff. 

Here is a sample letter you might send: 

Please remove my name and address from your mailing list.  I want to reduce the amount of unsolicited mail I receive.  (Be sure to include all variations of your name.)
Name(s)
Full mailing address
Signature and date

To help prevent you from getting added to someones mailing list in the future you can go to DMAchoice.org and opt out of everything. You may also want to call all of your insurance, cell phone and other providers and ask them to not send you mail. After a month or two, once all of your subscription changes have actually kicked in, start saving any junk mail that you get and use one of the steps we went through above to cancel the subscription! Hopefully soon your mailbox will be filled with only the mail you enjoy receiving! 

On another note, one of my favorite apps to opt out of junk mail to your email is Unroll Me. This platform allows you to go through the list of people and organizations you get emails from and unsubscribe with the click of a button. 

Cheers to a happy mail checking experience in the future and as always if you have any tips and tricks related to this topic please share with us all below!! 

 

xoxo Paige