This Recipe is a Peach!

Baked PeachesI have a real sweet tooth. Living a healthy lifestyle does not automatically delete a sweet tooth turns out! Therefore, modification became a part of my world. Modifying brownies, cookies, muffins, and on and on and on. Finding ways to include treats in my day that won’t derail me I now consider a hobby.

So, when I land on a winner, I can’t wait to share it with you! Right now when peaches are a deal at the grocery store, I brought home several that were still hard and began the process of waiting for them to be just right. I got impatient. My husband was coming home after being gone for a week and I wanted to make something new and those peaches were my target. After looking at enough peach cobbler recipes that I was certain I had gained weight just reading the ingredients, I decided that maybe simple was better…baked peaches. There were plenty of options online for baked peaches too, so I  gathered up a fresh mindful of ideas and headed into the “lab”, or some of you may call it the kitchen. The result was soft, sweet, warm, tangy peaches with just a touch of crunch. With a dollop of cool whip on top, the dessert was a home run!

But before I get to the specifics, let’s just talk about the glorious peach for a moment. A large peach is less than 70 calories, contains 3 grams of fiber and no fat. Peaches are a low-glycemic food, in other words, they break down slowly in your digestive track in order to help maintain consistent blood sugar levels. Peaches are a good source of Vitamin A and C and rich in potassium, calcium, and antioxidants. So seriously, no need to remove the skins, you can cut them up to top your yogurt, in your cereal, in your salad, on top of cottage cheese, add them to your entrée or protein shake…or just lean over the sink and bite into their juicy loveliness! But…save a few for this recipe and enjoy after your healthy meal!

peach pic2Baked Peaches

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 large peaches
  • cinnamon
  • 4 TBSP Brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 cup pecans*

Directions:

  1. Wash peaches and cut in half, removing the pit, do not remove skin
  2. Place peaches, cut side up, in baking dish
  3. Sprinkle peaches with cinnamon
  4. In center of peach, place 1/2 tsp. of butter and 1 tsp. of brown sugar
  5. chop pecans* and sprinkle over peaches
  6. Fill baking dish half full of water
  7. Bake peaches at 375 degrees F x 30 minutes
  8. Serve warm with a dollop of light whipped topping

One peach half prepared as above contains approximately 154 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 13 grams of carbohydrates. Due to the addition of pecans and butter, there are also 12 grams of fat, only 2 of which are saturated.

* I used pecans I had prepared as sweet nuts. Here is the recipe for Sweet Nuts:

Sweet Nuts (These are great as a snack all on their own, or incorporated into salads, muffins, cookies, or trail mix)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups nuts
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Splenda/sweetener

Directions:

  1. Beat egg white and mix in nuts to coat
  2. Combine cinnamon and Splenda and sprinkle over nuts and mix to coat
  3. Spread nuts out on foil lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F x 20 minutes, allow to cool

Healing Quiet

The “Q” word

Quiet can be elusive. Our society has pretty much been successful at banishing quiet. Even as I sit here typing the TV is on in the background…was on, I just turned it off! Ahhhh quiet. Not only is our environment battling against us, often times we are rushing away from quiet. It can be challenging to sit in a quiet place and be still, we are so used to rushing and being over-stimulated, it has become the norm.

But quiet is vital for health. Mental quietness is what we need. Life may not be able to be still for you right now. Maybe you are a mom to young kids…they are rarely still. Maybe you are working overtime to make ends meet and you can’t take a vacation right now. You can still experience quiet in your mind, but it takes practice and re-training the way you think. I love this quote by Wayne Dyer. A self-help author and motivational speaker, he has really honed in on a foundational piece of healthy living with these words.

In order to re-train your thinking though, you need to know what you are thinking to begin with! This requires that we slow our pace and become intentional. This process still regularly plays a role in my recovery from compulsive binge eating. Being aware of our emotions and thoughts and how we are viewing our circumstances allows us to be intentional in how we cope and deal with our circumstances.

peaceful mind

Keeping it Serene

This quote describes what I like to call awareness. Experiencing serenity in our minds is a result of practicing awareness. In learning to re-train my brain from years of distorted thinking about food and eating, I realized that many times I was not seeing my circumstances as they really were. I was filtering everything through distorted perspectives, like looking at a reflection in a filthy mirror. Once I started dealing with facts then I could learn coping skills and tools to healthfully deal with them. Facts like the need to address anxiety instead of just eat sweets and ignore it; needing to combat boredom instead of just eat for something to do; get to the root of depression instead of just isolate and binge; or conquer fear instead of just cover it with frosting. These were real emotions from real needs that demanded real solutions.

I remember sitting in front of a Christian counselor years ago feeling like I was the most broken person that ever walked the earth. I would leave her office thinking she’d hit the jackpot when I signed up to start visits! But after a couple months of practice dealing with truth instead of delusion, challenging negative self-talk with facts, and figuring out what priorities I wanted to have in my life, before I knew it I was becoming a woman I was excited about! I was in control of my thinking now, my mind that would race before and seemed uncontrollable was now able to consider logical choices. My self-esteem was not dependent on the number on the scale. And I could see all the damage that had occurred in every area of my life due to self-destructive habits starting to get cleaned up. It sounds so simple to process life as it is versus what we think it should be. But how many times are we disappointed because of unrealistic expectations? If you’ve been married for 15 years and your spouse has never made your anniversary the romantic show of undying love that you wish it would be, then why are you disappointed that this year it was just a card and a bunch of flowers from the grocery store? If your income barely covers your needs and you have continued to live like you have a money tree in the back yard, then why are you shocked when you can’t pay the electric bill? If you say you are going to lose weight and secretly eat candy every day, why do you complain that your body just isn’t able to lose weight?

All of these scenarios clog up our brains. Over and over we collect unrealistic distortions instead of truth unless we actively clean it out and decide to think clearly. It takes diligence to address areas of our lives that cause us angst instead of just eating and trying to act like we don’t care. Keeping it serene isn’t covering up the mess, it is accepting the mess and then dealing with the mess! A healthy lifestyle involves taking out the trash!

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Night Songs

Surviving life with grace and hope

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