Tuesday, August 22, 2017

believing truth in fear.

Imagine, if you will, us all sitting in a circle at an anonymous meeting of sorts and we are confessing our greatest fears. My turn is up. I stand up and say
"Hello my name is Kelli and I have a fear of nighttime."

Yes, night. Not really the darkness part, I think that plays into it, but mainly nighttime. This fear has been with me for as long as I can remember. 

I remember growing up I always had to have a night light in my room to just make it seem less night-ish. 

I remember always getting my best sleep when I could sleep in the same room with someone else. But oddly enough, none of my family enjoyed sleeping in the same bed with me because apparently I tend to kick or punch people when I sleep..... Not sure if these claims are valid. 

I remember going to sleepovers and having to ask the friends' mom to cover up the windows so that I couldn't see out and others couldn't see in. 

I remember the very first night in my apartment at college, about to start a new job the next morning, and my toilet starts overflowing in typical apartment living style. 

This fear peaked after becoming a mom:

The first weeks of motherhood are a blur, but I remember that every time I would hear her grunt or make the smallest noise when we were asleep, I would LEAP from my bed and make sure she was still breathing. 

I remember as the weeks wore on, as the afternoon passed and nighttime approached, this sense of anxiety would begin to build and build inside of me until I would have a crying meltdown or just get angry at my poor husband just about everyday. 

I remember this fear anytime my husband is away from home, even if it's for only one night. I stay up as late as physically possible until I just crash into bed. Even then, I stay awake for hours worrying  about what could go wrong or what could happen now that it's nighttime. 

And I think this fear gets perpetuated in my head by the fact that no one is "available" to help me - my sweet husband needs sleep to go to work the next day, the doctor's office aren't open (except the ER) in case of emergency, bad things like crime always happen at night and I would have to defend myself. Any mother will tell you that nighttime is when babies spike fevers, or throw up, or have a witching hour. It's like they plan for it to happen after normal business hours. Babies are smarter then we think. 

But as I was reading today, one of the scriptures for Day 10 of the 1&2 Timothy study from She Reads Truth kinda jumped out at me: "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" 2 Timothy 1:7.

Here I am typing this, it's currently nighttime - I'm alone - not sleeping - thinking of all the possible bad things that could happen, yet this spirit of fear that is dwelling inside me isn't from God. 

It's a play from the devil's playbook. 
It makes me lean more of my "understanding" of the world. 
It makes me worry and have an anxious heart. 

Instead of playing the devil's game, I need to stop repeating these lies inside my head and replace them with TRUTH. 

God has given me a spirit of power - the same power that raised Jesus from the DEAD is dwelling inside of me. 
God has given me a spirit of love - His "perfect love casts out fear." (1John 4:18) Am I really believing in His love in that moment if I am living in fear?
God has given me a spirit of self-control, some translations say "sound mind." For my mind to be sound in truth, I need to "take every thought captive" (2 Corinthians 10:5) and measure it against the truth of God's Word. If it doesn't match, then I need to throw. it. out. 

So I'm not saying I'm "cured" of my nighttime anxiety and fear or will be anytime soon, but in the moment of my weakness and fear, I just need to believe the truth of God's Word that He has spoken to me and let Him be my strength when I am failing. I just need to trust Him and rest easy. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

paid in full.

Last night at the Gilbert house was kinda rough.

I got up 3 times between 10-1:30 to reinsert the pacifier into my Little Monkey's mouth.
Bless her heart, the transition to our new living space has wrecked her stellar sleep schedule. I get up 4 times a night with her now, and usually she just needs the paci and nothing more.

Well last night at 4:30, I just couldn't get up. I just COULD NOT drag myself out of bed one more time to go put that ridiculous pacifier back in her mouth. Selfishly, I was just so exhausted. So I woke Kyle up {which is a new thing that I'm doing - Because I realize I don't have to be supermom, I have help} and kindly asked him to go put her paci back in. He did so willingly.

While he was gone, I was trying to get renestled back into bed when a shooting pain hits me like a ton of bricks. My left shoulder blade. Like oh my goodness, is it giving birth?!

I ended up sitting straight up in bed {crying} trying to decide it I might actually be able to sleep sitting straight up... Nope. So I moved to the couch... Then tried the bed again. An hour or two, and a few hundred pillows later, I fell asleep.

This morning, I got to thinking about why my shoulder hurt. Reason: I attempted to exercise for the first time in a while yesterday. Apparently, I didn't stretch enough before or after, and voila, probably pulled a muscle.

Why was I exercising? Because I want to be healthy. Truly, I do! And I've been working on making over my mornings and really want to incorporate exercise into this daily routine I have going.

Because I see all these other new moms that look super fabulous! Like, did they even have a baby?! I am so happy for them, truly I am. And I know I shouldn't compare myself to people, but it happens. {Jesus and I are working on it.}

As I sit here with a heating pad on my shoulder, coffee in hand, reading the She Reads Truth Advent devotional for today, I realize that maybe I'm not just exercising to be healthy. Maybe, in a way, I think that working out will help me achieve this perfect standard that I keep setting for myself. 
"Old Testament priests were constantly making payments on a debt they could never eliminate. Only Jesus could mark it paid in full."
This line in the SRT devotional  just struck me today. Even though I know this truth in my heart, my head needs to hear it constantly. I can never eliminate my sin debt by myself. Ever.

No matter whether I keep our house looking like it's out of Southern Living.
No matter whether I dress myself and my Little Monkey in only name brand clothes every day of the week.
No matter whether I start working out and build a world-defined body of perfection.

No matter what I do, I cannot get into Heaven based on my own good works, or my impossibly perfect standard. Only Jesus can pay my debt of sin IN FULL. 

Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, shedding His own blood - that is the only redemption I have for my sinful soul.

And ultimately, that's comforting to me to know that no matter whether I succeed at exercising, or motherhood, or being a wife, there will always be plenty of God's grace to cover my endless list of sin.

So while I invest and strive to live healthier each day, I remind myself that the healthiest investment I can make is in my walk with Jesus. He's the only standard I ever need to meet.

Friday, December 2, 2016

our current life.

I got an itching to start blogging again, so here I am.

I am in a totally different place since the last time I blogged like a year and a half ago. Literally and figuratively.

The last time I blogged was just a week or so before we found we were pregnant. {hello whirlwind} Little Monkey arrived last December and has changed our lives in so many good ways. We are so incredibly blessed by her life.

We bought a house. That was fun and exciting, and we brought our sweet baby home from the hospital to our house. {cue sigh} And now, we need to sell the house because...

We moved to Texas. And we love it! Kyle got a new job, and I get to stay home and be a mommy, which is what I am meant to do. We've only been in Texas a few weeks now but it's fabulous. We live near San Antonio and there is so much to see and do. We can't wait to explore our new home!

Since having a baby, I feel like I have learned so much {and continue to learn more daily}.

About babies.

About life.

About what the appropriate standard of cleanliness for our house should really be with a baby .

About how often I really need to cook dinner in a week.  {Cereal justifies as dinner, right?}

About how much laundry really can pile up.

About myself and the limitations I have when I don't get sleep.

About God's sacrifice of giving up His ONLY son just for me. It's incredible to think about that kind of love, despite all my sin, to give up your child for someone else. Because that's just how much He loves us. {sigh - it's amazing}

So this is us. And I love it.

And who knows what I'll blog about. But it will be real life - my life.  I can't wait to share it with you because it's you I like. {I've been watching waaay to much Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.}

Until next time! {Whenever that may be}

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Daily Gluten-Free Grub

When I first found out that I have Celiac Disease, I had no idea what to eat. I started looking for gluten-free snack ideas and meal ideas all over Pinterest. I googled "Is _____ gluten-free?" so many times my head hurts thinking about it.

So I wanted to show you guys what I eat most every day to possibly help some other people out on their gluten-free journey.
If this provides you some new ideas for gluten-free food, great!
If you just wanna see what I eat everyday as a dietitian, have at it! :)

5:00 AM 
I stumble into the kitchen and make myself some coffee, which includes coffee from my designated gluten-free Keurig, milk, a little creamer for flavor, and a little sugar. I'm new to the coffee world, so yes, I know that I don't need all that extra stuff in my coffee, but hey, baby steps.

6:00 AM - Breakfast
This has been my usual breakfast for a few weeks now. I was always used to eating cereal for breakfast, but I realized that with all the nutrients that I am not getting because I don't eat wheat, I needed to step up my breakfast game.

Egg Mug is super quick and easy! A triangle of laughing cow cheese gives it some extra creaminess. And I never thought I would like kale, but it actually isn't too bad. I actually ENJOY it! After breakfast, I take my vitamins. I've really been taking a lot of vitamins since I realized that I have not been absorbing nutrients for quite some time.

If I'm craving cereal, I beef-it-up with some other stuff to make it worth my while. That's really been my goal since eating gluten-free.

10:00 AM - Snack 
Around 10, I usually start getting hungry. I prefer to eat cottage cheese with something mixed in (my favorite being PB2 powdered peanut butter, chocolate chips, and flaxseeds. YUM-O!), or I eat cottage cheese with fruit on the side.

If I am pressed for time that morning (because I don't always remember to plan my lunch the night before - oops!),  I will just grab a KIND bar, or a Larabar.
This is my new favorite flavor of KIND - Blueberry Vanilla and Cashew.

12:30-1 PM - Lunch
We eat lunch whenever we get done seeing our patients for that day. It can be anywhere from 11:30 to 2PM like it was yesterday. If I miss my snack for any reason, I might be asking my patients if I can share some of their lunch tray with them. JK, it's not gluten-free. And that's wrong. Moving on....

Lunch can either be a planned outing to Taco Mama around the corner (rare, but delicious), or most often it is something I brought from home.
The other day I made this yummy blueberry salad in a jar! It was DE-LISH.

Or it could be leftovers (my favorite leftovers are Tomatillo Chicken and Green Chile Rice!)from supper the night before. Or it could be Protein-Packed Chicken Salad! I love eating this chicken salad with Pecan Nut-Thins (aka my favorite gluten-free cracker)!

I usually finish lunch off with some fruit. And lots of water.

For the record, I usually drink 3 of the 32 oz cups at work each day.  Plus at home, I usually drink about 4 or 5 of the 16 oz mason jars. Therefore I usually drink over 150 oz of water every day. And yes I am aware that you can drink TOO much water, but my body has always drank (drunk? drankin'?) this much water. I crave water. I know, it's odd.

Optional Snack - 3PM

This snack usually only happens if I am STARVING. But honestly, this snack almost never happens.

Dinner - 5:30 PM

Dinner is usually planned out according to the meal plan I make for 2 weeks worth of meals prior to our grocery store trip. It can kinda vary depending on if we come home late from work, if it's Wednesday and we have our prayer service at church, or if it's been a long week and there needs to be no cooking involved or we might burn down the apartment complex.... that's probably frowned upon.

So I did make these yummy Chicken Verde Enchiladas one night with corn tortillas and they were good! I had never cooked enchiladas before so I figured it was worth a shot. Recipe to come soon!

If no cooking needs to be involved, I usually throw together a salad, like this black bean salad. I ALWAYS have black beans on hand and usually whip up either a black bean salad, black bean burrito bowl, or black beans nachos in about, ohhhh,  30 seconds. It's my go to.

One night after having Taco Mama at lunch that day, I threw together this Blueberry Salad and topped it with some sweet poppy seed dressing. Perfect light dinner after a heavy lunch.

After Dinner
So if it's been a long week or it's a special occasion, I will splurge and get my favorite treat from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  It's their Gluten-Free Bundt Cake. I have never had any reactions when I have eaten it in the past. It is my most favorite thing to receive as a gift from my sweet hubby!

{I will not sit here and attempt to say that I am not an emotional eater. I am. But I just try to limit the indulgences to special circumstances.}

So that's typically what I eat in a typical day! Hope this helps somebody out there not feel quite as helpless as I did when I first started eating gluten-free!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tomatillo Chicken and Green Chile Rice

So I just found out in December that I have what is called Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that prevents nutrients from food from being absorbed in your small intestine. This stoppage of nutrient absorption is triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.

I'm sure you've seen all the "gluten-free" things at the store or the gluten-free diets that are advertised to "help you lose weight" and other sort of fad-ish thing. I've even heard people say, "Well I'm not sure what gluten is but it must taste good because they are taking it out of everything." As a dietitian, that statement makes me chuckle.

I have always been, and probably even more so now, been of the opinion (based on scientific evidence) that unless you have an intolerance, allergy, or medical reason, you do not need to cut out gluten from your diet. Going gluten-free can actually make you GAIN weight and you LOSE some very valuable nutrient sources.

But anyway, due to the above statement, I am going gluten-free since my gut basically goes into anaphylactic shock every time I eat the tiniest bit of gluten. And it hurts and causes lots of very painful symptoms.

Since December, I have had to get really creative finding gluten-free recipes that will be delicious so that Kyle doesn't feel like he's missing out while trying to care for my new restriction.

This chicken does NOT disappoint in the flavor department. Neither does this cheesy delicious rice.

I originally found the chicken recipe on Pinterest from THIS website. SO you know in usual fashion I made it my own. I made it a little healthier and corrected a few ingredients that I wasn't sure were gluten-free or not. I'm still learning all the ins-and-outs of gluten-free-ness.

All that's required for this chicken is to mix everything up the night before, let it marinate overnight, and then pop it in the oven when I get home from work. I definitely like easy.

Then this rice.


My aunt made a version of this at Christmas when we were visiting. It was SOOOO good, but, as usual, I am always thinking how to repeat it and make it better. 

So I made a few changes to the original recipe and made it super yummy and super cheesy! 

And may I just say, the leftovers are almost better than the real thing. My co-workers were very jealous of my delicious tasting food. 

{As per common sense, always check to make sure the ingredients you are using are gluten-free.}

I hope you enjoy these yummy recipes as much as we did! Check them out below or over on the recipe page!

Much love, 

Tomatillo Chicken

by Kelli Gilbert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake entree gluten-free chicken
Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 6 oz plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • 2½ teaspoons garlic
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 3 tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • 1-2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
Blend together all ingredients except chicken until almost smooth.
Place chicken tenderloins into a flat casserole dish. Top with 1 cup of marinade.
Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight (overnight is best!).
Preheat oven to 375.
Get rid of marinade and place chicken tenderloins side by side in a shallow casserole dish. Top with additional marinade to just cover the top of chicken and keep moist while cooking.
Bake 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Top with additional dressing and serve with rice, I recommend green chile rice, if desired.
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Green Chile Rice

by Kelli Gilbert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Keywords: bake side gluten-free
Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • A dash of heavy whipping cream or milk
  • 2 4oz cans diced green chiles
  • 6 oz shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 4 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
Pour into a lightly greased 2 quart casserole dish.
Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Popcorn Frenzy!

{This post is prior to my gluten-free days. Please use caution when following this recipe if you must eat gluten-free. Always check individual ingredients to ensure they're gluten-free before consuming.} 

Confession: I LOVE popcorn. 

All kinds: Salty. Sweet. Savory. Delicious. 

I have always loved popcorn. Well, since early college days... It was a super easy snack while studying or late at night when boredom would set in.

That was the bagged stuff.

NOW, we have an air popper, which is the best thing since sliced bread.

It's like popcorn on demand. 

We tried an oil-based popper. It was horrible. Terrible. It tasted like rubber. 

Speaking of rubber, don't buy any type of kernels besides Orville Redenbacher. Store brand and Pop Secret are both less superior to Orville's deliciousness. You wouldn't think you can tell a difference with popcorn, but you really can. And we actually prefer the white corn to the yellow corn. 

So here's a few topping ideas to try once you go buy your air-popper, which of course, is the best ~$20 you'll spend this week. Follow the directions that come with your popper first, then try these delicious toppings. 

Buffalo Popcorn (Kyle's favorite): 
1) Put your freshly popped popcorn in a big bowl.
2) In a small bowl, combine a couple of TBSP of melted butter (more butter = less spicy) with 1-2 TBSP of buffalo sauce.
3) Pour mixture over popcorn. Stir until well coated.

Now you can do 2 possible things here:
"Wet Buffalo"
4) Top with shredded cheese and eat.
"Dry Buffalo"
4) Spread popcorn on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Place in 350 degree preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Once out of oven, top with shredded cheese.

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn:
1) Place freshly popped popcorn in a big bowl.
2) In a small sauce pan, combine 1 TBSP ground cinnamon, 1 TBSP vanilla extract, 4-5 TBSP butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar until melted and bubbly.
3) Pour over popcorn and stir until well combined.
4) Place popcorn on foil-covered cookie sheet and place in 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes.
5) Let popcorn sit in oven for 15 minutes.
6) Enjoy!

Movie Theater Popcorn:
1) Place freshly popped popcorn in bowl.
2) Pour 4-5 TBSP melted butter. Toss to coat.
3) Sprinkle a little salt over the top.
4) Enjoy!

And lastly, my personal favorite,
Parmesan Popcorn (or as Kyle calls it 'Boring popcorn'):
1) Place freshly popped popcorn in a bowl.
2) Pour 1-2 TBSP melted butter over popcorn. Toss to coat.
3) Sprinkle a little salt on top. Toss to coat.
4) Sprinkle 3 TBSP of parmesan over popcorn. Toss to coat.
5) Enjoy!

That's all folks.

What's your favorite kind of popcorn?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Protein-Packed Chicken Salad

{This post is prior to my gluten-free days. Please use caution when following this recipe if you must eat gluten-free. Always check individual ingredients to ensure they're gluten-free before consuming.}

This Chicken Salad is the bomb dot com. 

I love taking this in my lunch to work. This plus a few Ritz Crackers and either some fruit or a sugar-free Jello cup. Man, it's like a mid-day get-away.

Don't laugh at my boring lunches. They are delicious.

I came up with this recipe last summer. Every newly married southern girl needs to know how to make chicken salad. 

But I had no clue where to start.

So I looked up many recipes. Did lots of research. I knew what I wanted in it: grapes, cranberries, and greek yogurt. I also knew that I didn't want a ton of mayo because that's just not healthy.

I threw it all together in a bowl and voila!

It's protein-packed with walnuts, greek yogurt, and chicken. This recipes also has lots less fat than your typical southern chicken salad since it is made with greek yogurt in place of most of the mayo.

And just think, if you want to add apple pieces or pecans to your chicken salad, you can do that. Ain't nobody stopping you from stepping outside the box!

Check out the recipe HERE! 

I am looking forward to hearing about all your tasty add-ins!

Protein-Packed Chicken Salad

by Kelli Gilbert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: no-bake entree salad chicken American Southern spring summer
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 1 10 oz can of chicken
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 6 oz of greek yogurt
  • ~1 tsp dill, dried
  • ~1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine in a bowl. Stir together and enjoy!
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