Saturday, August 6

Peru Mission: Day 4

Our final day in Peru has arrived, the past five days have gone by so quick. I wish we could have gotten here on time to spend the full week with more kids, but whatever God's plan was for this trip-- I don't know. Last night was a super late night because we met up our full team including the medics and our ground team in Peru for a family meal. We shared laughs and stories over dinner and coffee until like eleven o'clock. Pastor Pablo also informed us that a member of his church had invited the WHOLE team over for a traditional Arequpian breakfast so we had to be up and out early.

We arrived at this sweet couples house around 7:30 a.m. and their house was warm and packed with chairs and tables for our large team. After the blessing we sat down to break bread with one another- literally and metaphorically, ha. Our breakfast consisted of a special soup that many people in Arequipa eat on Sunday. The best way to explain it is a spiced broth with a huge pork chop in it and then you use this special local-made bread to kind of soak up all the liquid. Directly after finishing the soup then you drink this special tea with this licorice that supposedly is good for digestion. The soup was absolutely delicious and something hot was so nice especially for the cold Peruvian mornings. I can't say I've ever had pork chop soup for breakfast, but it was good. Finishing it off with a hot cup of tea was super warm and yummy and I absolutely loved the tea how it was. It was so sweet of them to invite our big team over for breakfast and it was such a blessing.

Next we headed back to our hotel to finish packing up our belongings and check out of the hotel. It was a mad dash to get out of there quickly so we could spend as much time with more kids that day. The rest of the day we spent with more children; loving on them, teaching them, playing with them and doing crafts. They especially loved the songs and coloring pages! Their sweet temperament and joyful spirit was so adorable and so humble. 

We spent the rest of the day playing with the kiddos until we had to head to the airport and start our long journey home. It has been a whirlwind few days but it has definitely been a life-changing and eye-opening experience. I don't know what the future holds in regards to future mission trips but it has been a blessing to get to know the Peruvian people and spend time with these wonderful children. Thank you to everyone who has contributed in prayers and finances to this trip, it has been an honor and a blessing. 

Friday, August 5

Peru Mission: Day 3

Today Pastor Pablo wanted us to take the morning to rest a little from a long day yesterday and then show us around town a little bit today. We had breakfast on the top floor of our hotel today before heading out into Arequipa. We used today to connect as a team and get ready for another day of mission work tomorrow. 

Here's a little virtual tour of Arequipa:

Thursday, August 4

Peru Mission: Day 2

Today we woke up early excited to work with the kids. Our hotel had breakfast ready for us on the top floor, and although I couldn't have it (bread), it was a cool view of the city. The honking is constant here, and although it was cold this morning it was sunny and blue skies as usual. The whole team packed up in the bus and took to the streets towards our first orphanage of the day. The morning streets were crowded with cars and taxis, people on motorbikes, dusty men standing on the side of the road waiting for buses, and stray dogs. A garbage truck sat on the side of the road playing classical music... An odd thing to witness. Turns out because of all the stray dogs people can't leave their trash on the street; so when you hear the music you're supposed to bring out your trash. 

We made it to the first orphanage and immediately set to work. The medical team made camp in the kitchen area and laid out their supplies. The rest of us on the kids team went into another building into a rec room of sorts to start getting things ready for the kids. This week we are focusing on the story of Joseph so we have several crafts planned including a coat of many colors craft, some coloring pages, a bead bracelet to tell the story of salvation and an interactive story about Joseph. Joseph faced so much adversity (his brothers hated him, he was sold into slavery in Egypt, he was wrongfully thrown into jail, he was forgotten by man) yet he continued to have faith in God. God was always with Joseph, even in the pit his brothers pushed him into, even in the prison he was wrongfully placed in for years...He saw Joseph and promised to raise him up (which He did). 

We laid out the craft supplies and Ben set up his felt board to tell his Sunday school story when the kids started buzzing in and out. They greeted us with hugs and smiles and were humming with excitement. About 50 kids excitedly came into the space and we began with teaching them some fun songs and dances. They loved them! The songs required motions and dance moves and they got really into them, it was so cute. After the songs, Ben started telling the story of Joseph with the help of an interpreter. While he animated the whole story, the rest of us got prepped for the rest of the crafts. They definitely loved all the crafts and candy we gave them and were so excited to keep the Crayons as their own. A few hours later of sticky hands and excited faces we ended our time with the kids by giving them some new soccer balls. The boys were stoked and immediately ran outside to their awesome soccer field and we played a quick game before we had to leave. They were such sweet souls! 

Our team reloaded on the bus and headed off to Pastor Pablo's pastors conference where they had prepared a traditional Arequpian lunch for us. When we arrived at the facility wouldn't you know it but an alpaca was just hanging outside the door! Turns out he lives around there and comes by. I, of course, was so excited and couldn't resist snapping way too many pictures.

Lunch was a good traditional meal. The first thing we ate was what they called "miracle" because during a war the army didn't have anything but some potatoes, vegetables and chicken and they made this casserole type of meal. It was served cold and was actually really good. The second thing they gave us was a traditional rice and meat dish that was delicious- I could've ate that all day long.

After a quick lunch we headed off to a second orphanage. When we arrived into the property the kids literally ran to greet us and gave each of us a hug. They were so excited and couldn't hug us enough. Every one of us suddenly had a child or two on each hand and they excitedly were telling us they wanted to show us their home. They were so proud of their home and gave us a complete tour: everything from the kitchen, to the showers to their bedrooms and library. It was small and compact but so full of love, you could just feel it. We later found out that these kids actually built this home with their own hands, so their love and excitement of their home was evident. 

These particular kids were so joyful and exuberant. I loved every moment with these kids and could have stayed twelve more hours and had a blast with them. They all were so cute singing and dancing with us and they were all over the crafts. While Ben told the story of Joseph they sat at attention and even answered questions about the story afterwards! After several hours with the kids just playing and loving on them they had a surprise for us. The kids sat us down and proceeded to surprise us with performing dances! They were so cute. They performed several dances for us, both traditional and modern, and were just so full of life and joy- it was contagious. 
Leaving those kids was super hard but as the sun was setting we loaded back on the bus and waved out the windows at all the kids on the side of the road as we drove off. To think that these kids have so little but are so joyful, it just really changes your perspective. 

Wednesday, August 3

Peru Mission: Day 1

Well it's Wednesday, not what I thought my first day would be, but sure enough it is our first day in Peru. We landed in Arequipa pretty early and Pastor Pablo greeted us with a hug and warm smile. Did I mention it's winter in Peru, and it's freezing?! Needless to say I underestimated the "winter" here. I was freezing when we landed and instantly regretted not packing my heavier jacket. Anyways, Pastor Pablo picked us up in a bus with his daughter Andrea to interpret. Our ride into town was fascinating; the city was different than I expected. Parts of the ride felt like we were riding through the Middle East- torn apart homes, destroyed cars, dust and sand everywhere. The air was thin and dry but the sun shine bright without a cloud in sight. The street was spotted with stray dogs and packed with taxis and cars. Dust kicked up and horns honked as we swerved our way through the streets, narrowly missing other vehicles and people, and finally making our way to our hotel. 
Tucked in a semi-quiet street in the middle of the city, our hotel was basic at best but clean and simple. I bunked up with two other girls and are room consisted of three twin beds, a small nightstand, a wooden desk, a piece of art on the wall, and one lamp. Luckily we had a bathroom attached to our room which was teeny tiny but managed to have a shower, toilet, sink and mirror squeezed in there. Oh, another fun fact I learned while traveling to Peru was that they don't have the infrastructure to support the sewage system so nothing can be flushed down the toilet besides waste... Not even toilet paper. So that was a whole new experience for sure. (Definitely the #1 thing I'm going to miss about America)

Marika, Abby and I unpacked a little and I took the coldest shower of my life (no hot water) before we bundled up to head out to get breakfast. Pastor Pablo's daughter got us a taxi and we zipped off into the heart of town to eat breakfast as a team. Breakfast consisted of eggs, meat, cheese, bread and the freshest juice. The team was exhausted so I think everyone enjoyed the real meal in over 27 hours. Pastor Pablo & Pastor Tony discussed our agenda over breakfast and decided to send our team back to the hotel to rest and prepare for the afternoon. 

It didn't take long for all of us to pass out when we got back to the hotel. A few hours later we were more rested, up, getting dressed and ready to go serve. Our first stop was a local pastors conference that was in town. Pastors from surrounding countries were in Arequipa (organized through Pastor Pablo) to receive training and discipleship. We joined them and Kierre and Deborah lead worship and Trevor delivered a message. The remainder of our team worked at preparing for the children's ministry for the following day. We are focusing on the story of Joseph, so Mariks came up with a few crafts to do with the kids including some coloring pages, a coat of many colors with yarn and string, and salvation bracelets with beads and yarn to remind the kids of Jesus's love and sacrifice. We worked for a few hours tracing and cutting out jackets, cutting string, and separating beads. 

After a full night of discipleship and fellowship our entire team met up for the first time (everyone else arrived on time) for dinner! We went to a Chinese restaurant in town as a group and had a nice meal together- even though I could only eat rice. I can already tell eating here is going to be interesting being allergic to gluten. After dinner we headed back to the hotel and now are quickly crashing. It has been an exhausting 2-days of travel and I'm very thankful we finally made it. Better late than never I suppose?! 

Peru Day....?

It's currently 3:30am on Wednesday morning and our team has (finally) crossed the equator. Yesterday we started at the butt crack of dawn from Raleigh/Durham to Washington DC. Oh and to keep in theme with this whole trip,  we almost didn't make that first flight due to a ticketing issue. Made it onto that flight with minutes to spare! We landed in DC and had a short layover before boarding another flight to Cancun, Mexico. Three hours and some change later we landed in Mexico and cleared customs with (almost) no issues. 

Meanwhile Pastor Tony had received an email from United that 6 of our 18 bags didn't make it. The thing was, we didn't even have 18 bags to begin with!! Not sure what the issue was, because when we got past immigration and picked up our bags they were actually all there, thank goodness. Little did we know that was the least of our worries. We had to transfer terminals in Cancun and the only way is through a shuttle... That runs every 25 minutes. Doing the math, we realized we wouldn't make our flight of we waited, so that meant we had to hustle down a taxi to fit 9 people and luggage. Also, our team is prepared for fall/winter in Peru, not warm and sunny Cancun! Ha. We absolutely melted! $40 and a 5-minute taxi ride later, we were at the right terminal and proceeded with the fun task of trying to recheck our bags. Of course we had issues here as well with locating our records and such. Standing in that airport terminal with no AC in long sleeves and pants was enough to make you lose five pounds, yikes. The minutes ticked by and we were about an hour away from our connecting flight to Lima Peru when finally everything got sorted and we had to run through security... Again! 

Like an episode of Planes, Trains and Automobiles we had to board a bus to get to our plane which was way out on the tarmac in the toasty Mexican sun. I was so unprepared for the heat and sun, as we were slowly moving cattle onto the plane. But we made it! The Avianca plane was anything less than glamorous and we had some of the last seats on the plane, but we were on at least. Six annoyingly slow hours later we FINALLY landed in Lima, Peru!! At least we made it into the county. 

We cleared customs and immigration for the second time in 24 hours, gathered our luggage and decided to immediacy recheck it so we could at least go out and explore Lima and get dinner since our next flight wasn't until 6am. Unfortunately we couldn't re-check in until midnight... It was 7pm. So we had one option, sit on the airport floor with our luggage until 12- and that's what we did. 

Midnight rolled around and we rechecked our bags and made it through security for the zillionth time. Our group had been up for so many hours we had lost track and were exhausted, so we found some armless-chairs to lay out on and get a little sleep. Most of the team is still asleep but inabout an hour we will board our FINAL plane for this trip- to Arequipa. We should be on soil by breakfast and will spend the morning getting into the hostel and resting before hitting the ground running after lunch. 

Thanks for all the prayers & encouragement along the way. It's Wednesday and we're here and ready to go. Prayers for this last leg of our journey, so our real journey can begin! 

Monday, August 1

Unexpected Turn

Well to say I've hit an unexpected turn would be an understatement. Currently it is Monday, August 1st and I should be in the mountains of Peru..instead I'm sitting back at my house with my dog trying to get some work done. Due to flight delay after flight delay, our entire team missed our connection flight to Peru in Washington D.C. It was midnight and our team literally sat down on the airport floor in front of gate A23 and regrouped.

We knew we had to find someone from United to help us rebook our flights so we set off for help. The airport was a ghost town, not a soul around. Making our way to the ticketing desk we proceeded to spend the next three hours working with the desk agent to find another flight to get our whole team to Arequipa. The unfortunate part- the earliest he could get us there was Wednesday...and at that point we weren't sure if we would even be able to go do our work.

Being the emotional type and highly exhausted, at that point all I could do was not cry too loudly as I realized that this trip I have prayed about for so long was either not going to happen or be dashed short. It was an emotional night (morning) for sure. However after hours working with the gate agent, we were able to rebook our flights to Peru for Tuesday. We slept on the airport floor in Washington DC on Saturday night/Sunday morning and then caught a flight back to Raleigh on Sunday morning. A saint from church picked us up in the church van and drove our sleepy-selves back to Greensboro.

Now we wait to try Take 2 at this adventure. We drive to Raleigh tonight and got a hotel near the hotel due to another faithful friend who is putting us up for the night. Then tomorrow (Tuesday) we have a 6:00 flight from Raleigh to Washington DC >> Cancun, Mexico >> Lima, Peru -- sleep in the Lima airport for the night >> and then onto Arequipa, Peru on Wednesday morning. It will be a super long 27+ hours of travel but praying that THIS time things go smoothly and without complications. 

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me via text, IG and FB and offering prayers and kind words. I'm not going to pretend I understand this and am not heartbroken but we will press on to Peru.

Stay tuned for more updates from my (per usual) wild and crazy travel adventures. #TheTravelingCupcake

Saturday, July 30

And She Said...I Will Go

Today is an exciting day! After months of fundraising and planning, today is the day I finally board the plane and head to Peru. I'm so thankful to everyone who has supported me financially and in prayer over the past few months. Check back throughout the week as I blog about this experience and being the hands and feet of Christ.

Monday, May 23

25 Acts of Kindness

I was so depressed about this year's birthday for multiple reasons. However as I was wallowing in self-pity of this next year, I realized that instead of being so full of self and complaining that I should take the focus off me and serve others in this time. What better way to get over yourself by serving others? So throughout the month of May I have decided to partake in acts of kindness in honor of my birthday. So here I wanted to highlight a few of the things I did during my birthday month to share the love, take the view off of myself, and be a blessing to others: 

1. United Way Ben & Jerry's donation
While partaking of a sweet treat, the United Way was running a campaign so I was able to donate to a great cause while enjoying a guilty pleasure

2. Bought lunch for a needy college couple
also known as my brother and his girlfriend. They both just started working in Charlotte together and have little to no money. While I was in town for a work conference, I stopped by and treated them to lunch!

3. Donate books to Boys & Girls Club
I have tons of books that I've already read and needed to clean space on my bookshelf, so I packed them up and brought them to the Boys & Girls Club in my town

4. Leave a water/Gatorade for Mailman

5. Pick up trash on a walk

6. Encouraging cards for someone who needs it

7. Create a homeless bag for Church Under the Bridge
At my church we all came together and helped stuff bags for homeless people in our community. There is a great organization called Church Under the Bridge which serves homeless people in the area with basic necessities and the Word of God. Check it out here 

8. Give a book to someone
As I was cleaning out my bookcases, I felt like God wanted me to give this particular book to a girl I've met at church a few times. So I put a little note and a cute bookmark in it and gave it to her the next week at church. I hope it bless's her like it has blessed me.

9. A gift to a friend just because
I met one of my best friends for drinks and appetizers one night and just packaged a little gift bag for her, just because. Sometimes its nice to get a gift simply because!

10. Letter to a sick kid
I found a website where you can write letters to children in hospitals to brighten up their day!

11. Buy flowers for someone just because

12. Donated Rice for foreign countries

This is a super cool website that donates rice (one of the main sources of food in many improverished countries) to villages just because you answer questions! It's like the ultimate trivia game: you answer questions and people get food to eat. Pretty cool.   

13. Donate old glasses to people who would otherwise not be able to have glasses 

14. Donate old cell phones to veterans through local store

15. Baby Gifts for a Mom in Need
I became aware of an old friend who was in a tight spot and expecting a baby...with nothing to bring the baby home. Along with a few other friends, we chipped in and stocked up mommy and bay for a good few months. Babies are a blessing afterall!

16. Buy someone's coffee behind you.
Ran through Starbucks today and covered the car behind me and left a note! Pass along the smiles.

17. Donated toothpaste to Mary's House 
Mary's House is a local home for women who are recovering from substance abuse with small children. They had a need for toothpaste while I was at the grocery store, so I grabbed an extra tube! 

18. Donate clothes to needy (Goodwill or another shop)

19. Compassion International Ministry 

About a year ago I started to sponsor a little girl in Tanzania named "Sara". She is six-years-old and lives with her grandmother and mother in a village that is largely agricultural. This month I decided to send her a few extra sweet things including an extra gift and some pictures and a letter from me to her! Want to learn more about sponsoring a child, go here: Compassion

20. Post in notes in a bathroom. Posted some encouraging notes on a bathroom in a local store like "You are beautiful" "You are valued" "You look fabulous!"

21. "Take what you need" 
Printed off a sheet and posted it in local Starbucks. Take what you need: patience, love, joy with Bible verses attached to each slip of paper!

22. Leave some love behind
I thought I'd leave a little love for a sweet coworker on Friday night (after he left) so he can have a smile first thing on Monday morning (: I covered his computers in sticky notes with encouraging notes

Thursday, May 19

The Faith Journal: Romans 10:17

I'm starting this new project called the Faith Journal. I want to dissect a verse about faith and really study what it's saying and what it means and how to believe it. Worshiping to awesome Hillsong United songs, joining Bible Study, and doing daily devotionals is great and wonderful but I feel like there's something more. I want to have a greater faith in the Lord and I think that begins by getting back to the basics: reading and studying His word.

Today I want to look at Romans 10:17 in different translations and then delve into what God is trying to tell us in this passage. Links in the chapter for you to find more resources

Romans 10:17 (ASV) So belief [cometh] of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 (BBE) So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 (CEB) So, faith comes from listening, but it's listening by means of Christ's message.
Romans 10:17 (CJB) So trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed about the Messiah.
Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 (MSG) The point is, Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ's Word is preached, there's nothing to listen to.
Romans 10:17 (NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:17 (NLT) So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

I've struggled with this concept of "hearing" God. I don't hear an audible voice, so how can I 'hear' God? When you're going through a tough situation and you silently say a little prayer, does a voice come over the radio and instruct you which path to take? Maybe it does. I know for me personally, that lightning-bolt-in-your-face moment doesn't happen. Does that mean God is silent and I'm forgotten? 
Romans 10:17 reminds me that I can't expect to be spoken to if I'm not listening to the right station. How can I expect to hear my favorite country song when I'm listening to the smooth jazz station? I've got to be in the Word. The Word is God's amplifier to us. He speaks through the words in the Bible. When you're sitting at your ropes end and not sure what to do, it's that small voice in your head that gives you peace or direction. Those songs on the radio that hit you like a bullet even when you've heard it 1,000 times. Those moments are God speaking to you and giving you a sense that He is there, He cares, and He is listening. We've just got to be open to receive it. Just like you can't expect to do well in school without studying, we've got to take time to study what God says to reap the benefits.
So faith comes from hearing, so lets read and hear what God has to say today. 

Wednesday, May 18

Fighting the Enemy

The enemy is not after your money or your stuff. He wants your mind. Your attitude. Your heart. Your faith. Your peace. Understand that you're not being attacked over the tangible things in your life. The enemy is fighting you over the things can't see.

Tuesday, May 10

Gluten Free Travel Tips

The Traveling Cupcake's Five Gluten Free Travel Tips

1. Pre-make homemade trail mix with GF Friendly components.
I have snack-size baggies of cashews, pistachios, almonds, golden raisins, chocolate chips and cranberries ready to go for travel trips.

2. Make your own dinner ahead of time.
I'm a huge proponent of meal prepping, so on the weekends I spend time cooking up easy meals that I can reheat (or eat cold). Meals in airports are expensive and most of the time can't be certified GF so I usually bring a Tupperware for my dinner: chicken with rice and veggies, leftover steak and mushrooms and asparagus, or always a hearty salad. For dressings for that salad pick up one of these handy to-go dressing containers for your quart-size liquid carry on!

3. Wine is gluten free.
Just saying. A long layover and cancelled flight...usually you can find a wine bar or restaurant to sip on a nice glass of Malbec or Pinot. Eat that with your tail mix and you'll be set.

4. Yelp or Find Me Gluten Free app.
I have two go-to apps when I'm on the road looking for GF food and restaurant: Yelp! and Find Me Gluten Free. Both apps allow you to search the location/area you'll be in + narrow it down by price, hours of operation, style of food etc. Best off, both the apps are free!

5. Breakfast on the road.
Being gluten free and on-the-go at breakfast is challenging. When you think of breakfast on-the-run it's stuffed between two biscuits, croissants, bagels etc. and gull of gluten! Usually when I get to a new town I try to find a local grocery store or market and pick up some simple things I can keep with me for breakfast. I will stop and grab bananas, dried fruit, turkey jerky, and if I have a place to keep it chilled than some yogurt or fresh sliced fruit. Simple, cheap and healthy options that will leave you full and satisfied. 

Sunday, May 1

Tone It Up Week One

I just finished week one of this 8-week journey with "Tone It Up" and I am pretty excited about it so far. If you haven't heard of Tone It Up check out the fabulous Karena & Katrina here

So I've been an avid Crossfit junkie for three years but after some recent soul searching I realized that I need to take a step back and pursue some other fitness options. My best friend did Tone It Up last year before her wedding and she looked g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s; so when we heard that K&K were releasing Beach Babe 4, we joined the team! PS: You can buy the Beach Babe 4 or you can do the free workouts they suggest in its place, both are great.

There is a daily workout plus usually some accessory work and all of it is done in 20-50 minutes depending on the day. So let me be honest here- I'm in my final week of Crossfit where I lift daily, so when I saw the weights used for the TIU workouts were 4-10lbs. I thought it would be easy. I was wrong. Horribly wrong. I've been using 8lb weights and I've been absolutely dying!! It just goes to show that different kind of workouts work-out different muscles in your body. Overall I've loved the workouts and they've kicked my booty (especially the beach booty workouts, ha).

Workouts are one thing but honestly where I fall short is food. I love food and it makes or breaks you in the gym that's for sure. This week I killed it with the food plan and I feel so much better it's kind of stupid. I even texted my friend and told her I think I have abs coming in (which I don't, but I just feel that less-bloated! ha). So here is a quick compilation of what I ate during week 1: 

M1: Scarmbled eggs + 1/2 Banana
M2: Strawberries + Protein Banana Muffin
M3: Turkey burger (crumbled) + grapes + cucumber wedges + bed of greens + sweet potato chips
M4: No time
M5: Pork tenderloin + oven roasted veggies

M1: Egg cups (with peppers, mushrooms, spinach and ground turkey) + stawberries + booty call shot
M2: Raspberries and Greek yogurt + protein banana muffin
M3: Bed of lettuce and argulua with leftover pork tenderloin + cranberries + raspberries and grapes with balsamic and blue corn chips
M4: Larabar + cutie
M5: Zoodles with grilled chicken in homemade pesto

M1: Veggie and Turky egg cup (peppers, mushrooms, spinach and turkey) with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and raspberries
M2: Banana and two banana protein muffins (oops, too much banana)
M3: GF wrap with grilled chicken, lettuce, mayo/mustard + grapes + mango
M4: Starbucks Acai tea lemonade with 1/2 the sweetner
M5: Avocado balsamic chicken + steamed peas 

M1: 2 Egg cups (veggies + turkey) and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and raspberries
M2: 1/2 banana + protein banana muffin + grapes
M3: Leftover balsamic avocado chicken + sweet potato chips
M4: Veggies with hummus and stawberries
M5: Tilapia + small sweet potato + green beans

M1: Homemade oatmeal with maple syrup and raisins + Green smothie
M2: Banana protein muffins
M3: GF wrap with ham, spinach, cheese, mayo-mustard mix + stawberries
M4: No time
M5: Homemade chicken tikki masla over rice 

M1: Greek yogurt with fresh berries + Turkey Veggie Egg Cup
M2: Banana Protein Muffin
M3: Pesto shrimp + mango + strawberries + tropical smoothie
M4: No time
M5: Chicken pad thai (my 'splurge' meal)

M1: Scrambled eggs + 1 piece of GF toast and peanut butter + strawberries
M2: Larabar
M3: Tuna on a rice cake and cheese + argugula salad with grapes and sunflower seeds + pineapple
M4: (not pictured) trail mix with peanuts, raisins, almonds and M&Ms (technically not 'compliant')
M5: burger on bed of arugula, pineapple, goat cheese and balsamic +  sweet potato fries + watermelon

Today (Sunday) I am going to meal prep for the week ahead which includes washing and cutting veggies to be roasted later this week or dipped in hummus, washing and cutting fresh fruit, mixing any dressings or dips I'm going to use, dicing and slicing chicken and making turkey burger patties, making homemade paleo granola and portioning out yogurt and cottage cheese for the week. Looking forward to week two and feeling even better. If you're looking for a new lifestyle to refresh your whole body, mind and soul join with me!!!

Goal for the week: Do all of the workout videos + look for a "goal" trip to take with my best friend when we complete this 8-weeks.