A recipe for the Beast: Foil Baked Tilapia

My husband and our lead staff are doing a diet right now called the Beast Challenge.  They are basically competing to see who can have the greatest body transformation in 21 days.  The competition never stops on our staff.

The diet basically excludes all things tasty in life.  Low salt, no sugar, high protein, very little carbs (only Ezekiel bread, brown rice and quinoa), some fruit (apples, oranges berries), unlimited greens, lean meats, no preservatives, and some dairy (eggs, milk, cheese and Greek yogurt).

I am trying to get creative with our meals.  I am pretty much seasoning everything with olive oil and garlic.  So I did a little research online and came up with this great tilapia recipe. 

If you like your fish crispy, this is not the dish for you.  The dish turns out very light but quite tasty.

Cilantro-Lime Talapia baked in foil

2 Garlic cloves pressed
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 lime sliced thin
1/2 c cherry tomatoes halved
1 c broccoli and cauliflower florets
tilapia fillets
4 sheets of heavy duty foil (about 10 in x 10 in)

Combine garlic and olive oil and heat in the microwave for about 1 min, stir

Place 2 tilapia fillets in on one sheet of foil.

Drizzle olive oil/garlic mixture over the fish

Add a few pinches of cilantro, a few slices of lime, a few tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower 

Fold up the foil on top and sides, folding down a few times to create an air tight seal.

Repeat with remaining ingredients

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Be careful not to let the steam burn you when you open the foil.  Fish should be opaque and flaky.  

We served with Quinoa.


5 things you may not know about me

  1. I like to write in pencil.  Not sure why.  Maybe because I am a bad speller and I can erase
  2. I love music by female artists (Sheryl Crow, Beyonce, Pink just to name a few).  I currently love Taylor Swift (Especially her song, Hey Stephen, for obvious reasons).  I told my husband the other day that if Taylor Swift had been around when I was 13, I would have spent hours singing in the mirror with my hair brush to her tunes.  As it stands, I spent most of my time pretending to be Mariah Carey and Amy Grant. 
  3. I am not afraid of snakes and spiders, just really creepy things like birds, rodents and raccoons.
  4. I cannot remember the last time I went without toenail polish.  It's probably be upwards of 8 years including winter time.
  5. Seeing people fall down makes me laugh uncontrollably.  I'm sorry in advance if I ever see you trip because I will laugh before I ask you if you are ok.  I am laughing out loud just picturing the scenario.

Monday Morning Commentary


This past weekend we continued or series, e.  My husband continued to preach from Ephesians 4:1-17 reiterating that empowered by the Holy Spirit, we each must do our part. 

Elevation is a Wiki-Church.  A church made up of contributors, not consumers.  If Wikipedia can harness the power of everyone for information then why can't the church harness the power of everyone for transformation?

Elevation is restructuring how we do small groups.  Up until now, all of our groups have been sermon discussion groups only.  Starting this fall, our eGroups will encompass anything any leader wants to do.

My husband and I have been able to lead the way in this initiative.  This past spring he lead a hardcore group of high school juniors and seniors.  He lead them through several books as well as reading the New Testament in 30 days.  It was an intense time of training that impacted those students forever. 

In the past few weeks I, along with Heather Bishop (small group leader extraordinaire and wife to our ministries pastor, John) have been leading a group of young married women.  We are discussing all the aspects of being a good wife and managing your home.  We are studying some of the marriages of the heroes of our faith, and discussing how we can create a God-centered home.  We have cooked (and ate) some great meals together.  I have had a great time getting to know each one of them.

It's an exciting time at Elevation.  If you regularly attend, but missed today, you should listen to the message so that you can be caught up on everything that is going on.

Even if you don't attend Elevation, you should listen to the message as well.  It was a truly inspirational message that will encourage you to step out and allow God to use you, the passions and gifts He has given you, to reach out to others.

You can listen to the message (Part 2, e) here later today.

Keep your eyes on your own paper

I used to teach school and just like every teacher I told my students, "Keep your eyes on your own paper."

It's actually a really good life lesson.

I tell my kids all the time, "You worry about you."

But it works for adults too.  I was listening to a Mother's day message by my friend Jessica Cornelius.  She had a great word for the whole family.  Nestled somewhere in the middle of her message was a nugget.  She said something to the effect of, "Maybe you are a single mom and you are so frustrated with your kid's dad.  You can't waste your time trying to make him a good dad, just put all you efforts into being the best mom that you can be."

You worry about you.

It works inside marriage too.  Maybe you are perpetually frustrated with your husband.  You spend all your time thinking about what he does wrong and what he should do better.  Maybe it's time you worry about being a good wife, what you do wrong and what you should do better.  Let God deal with the kind of husband that he is.

Maybe you are a teenager with the world's worst parents :).  Maybe you should just worry about being the best son or daughter you can be and let God take care of your parents.

Maybe you are single waiting, dreaming about the day Mr/Mrs Perfect comes along.  Maybe you should try focusing all your energy on being Mr/Mrs Perfect and then when he/she comes along you will be a match of perfection.

One more, couldn't leave this one out, maybe you work for the world's worst boss.  You know what I'm gonna say… you worry about being the best employee you can be. 

The thing is, you are the only person you can change.  You can change your attitude, your response, your actions.  And when you do, those around you will notice and God will get the glory.  Maybe you will inspire those around you to change to, maybe you won't.  It won't matter because you won't have any time to worry about them, you'll be concentrating on yourself.

You worry about you.

Keep your eyes on your own paper.

A good host

Every Thursday morning the boys and I attend a Bible study with several other ladies from Elevation.  Last week we hosted at our house. 

In the past my children have really embarrassed me when we have friends over.  I know all kids struggle with sharing and being gracious hosts, but seeing as how everything my boys do is big and showy, you can imagine what happens when they are upset.

So I decided to run some offensive parenting plays before everyone arrived.  I happened to have picked up some superhero pajamas on sale at Children's Place the day before with the intention of having the boys earn them.  And Thursday was the perfect time.

I sat the boys down and told them what a gracious host is.  (I got the idea from Thriving Family magazine but added a few things of my own about cleaning up).  Here's what we rehearsed.

A Good Host…

  1. Cleans up before their guest arrives
  2. Lets their guest choose what to play
  3. Lets their guest have first pick of toys
  4. Cleans up after their guest leaves

The magazine article added greets their guest at the door and walks them to the door when they leave.  We'll work on that next time.

So I told my boys if they were good hosts, they would get their new pj's, if they were not, there would be punishment.

They were the bests hosts they have ever been.  I was so proud of them.  And we had a great time.

Offensive parenting works so much better than defensive parenting.

Monday Morning Commentary

This weekend we began our superhero themed series, e.  It's a series for Elevation church about empowerment from the book of Ephesians.

In the message, my husband encouraged us by saying that the pastor is not the source of God's power, he is merely an extension cord to the source, Jesus.  And Jesus wants to empower His Church, made up of the people.  I loved this quote, "Pastors are God's gift to the church and the church is God's gift to the world."

My favorite part of the message was when he said, "The power can only come if you are plugged in."  It made me think about how earlier this week Elijah went to have his computer time (the very best 30 minutes of his entire day) only to find the monitor not working.  I tried to check to make sure it was plugged into the wall right and into the computer, everything checked out fine but still nothing.  Elijah began crying "Call Mr. Brian!" (Brian is our technical director at Elevation and his wife is our babysitter).  A few days later Brian came to check everything out… the power source was loose from the monitor.

If you are not plugged in, you are not going to have power.

My husband also made an announcement about a radical shift we are taking in our small groups ministry.  If you consider Elevation your home and you missed this past weekend, you'll want to be sure to listen before next week.

You can listen to the message (part 1, e) here later today.

The worst year of my life


I was talking with some girls the other night about a new baby that was born to one of our staff members this week.  They were talking about what a great baby she was, how cute and quiet and content.

I was flooded with memories of when Elijah was born.  He came out screaming and crying and pretty much continued to cry for the next year of his life.  Colic and ear infections coupled with a very dominant personality from day one was a recipe for a very unhappy baby and a devastated momma.  I wouldn't re-live the first year of Elijah's life for a million dollars.

"He's got a great set of lungs!"  I heard that a hundred times.  It's code for, "Gee, your baby cries really loud."

Today Elijah still has "a great set of lungs."  He still knows exactly what he wants and doesn't stop until he gets it.  He still cries really loud and more than the average 4 year old, but he is so much fun.  He  is so full of life and personality.  I can't believe in a few short months he will be 5 years old.

The days can creep by the the years seem to fly by.

I seem to be rambling but I do have a point…  This too shall pass.  What ever you are going through, whatever season of life you are in, it will pass.

Maybe you are in the middle of the year that you would not re-live for a million dollars, it will pass, I promise.  And you will be a stronger person for it.

Maybe you are in a time where things are going great.  Enjoy every second because, this too will pass. 

Life is full of seasons.  Some full of joy, others full of pain.  Don't wish it away.  Don't waste it.

Happy Birthday Mom

Pure 10
Today is my mom's birthday.  I won't tell you how old she is, but she is certainly not an old lady yet :).  I think I contributed to the majority of the gray hairs that she pays money to have professionally covered.  I was not the easiest teenager to raise.  I aspire to be like her in many ways.

  • She has a work ethic like no one you will ever meet
  • She loves her husband with all her heart
  • She is a great grandmother to her 6 grand kids
  • She spends time alone with God daily and has since she was practically a child
  • She is always mentoring other women
  • She's proud of me and she tells me often

Happy Birthday Mom, I love you!  I am taking you shopping for your birthday.  I'm gonna get you a pair of neutral heels.