For Grace and Gratitude

Location: Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center
Greenfield, New Hampshire

A weekend retreat to disconnect from my busy life and be intentional about seeking God and one on one time with the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 46:10 
Be Still and Know that I am GOD

"The Christian retreat can be defined in the most simplest of terms as a definite time (from a few hours in length to a month) spent away from one's normal life for the purpose of reconnecting, usually in prayer, with God"

Psalm 23: 1-6 The Good Shepherd

Mathew 11 : 28 - 30
"Come to Me, all of you who are weary, and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light"

Hosea 2: 14 - 23
" Therefore, I am going to persuade her, lead her to the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her vineyards back to her and make the valley of Achor into a gateway of hope...."

Romans 8: 26 - 28
" In the same way the spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us in unspoken groanings. And He who searches the heart knows the Spirit's mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for the good of those who Love God: those who are called according to His purpose."

Hebrews 13 : 5 - 6
"Your Life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Therefore, we may boldly say: 
The lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? "

To be honest you don't have to go into the woods to have a "retreat". For some people it's a better option because their living environment doesn't permit that to happen. But using the same concept of "staycations", if you have complete control over your environment , you can have a "retreat" at home. It may require more discipline and structure on your end but its definitely do-able. So take some vacation time off work and use those days as a "staycatreat ".

Millet : The Next Nutrition Grain Fad

Is millet making a come back as the next "fad" grain in the west? It had made an appearance a couple of years ago but not an overwhelming one.
 I say that because while it will be considered a "new" hype thing in america , its a very common staple in other parts of the world.

I grew up eating millet fufu every day in the far north province of cameroon and it's still one of my favourite carbohydrates staples outside of rice. Nothing can deliver me from the love of jellof.

It will be interesting to see the western take on millet.

 How it's going to be "re branded"...

 As a granule topping for yogurt? 
a healthy cereal?
 a healthy cereal bar? 
a powder that can be used to make a power morning shake?
millet fruit salad anyone?
millet pasta?
millet cookies?
millet flavoured water?

I just finished a box of millet cereal and had mixed feelings about it. Millet has a distinct taste and the challenge will be to find ingredients that it can marinate and blend well in. I felt like the cereal tried to hide the taste by adding sugar/honey granules but it didn't work.

Elle Magazine November 2016

Why am I talking about ELLE magazine?

 After all this is not a fashion blog!

Well, because they did a bomb-di-gitty awesome job in their Beauty Body Segment

In this segment of the USA edition of the magazine, they provide a pretty good summary about some of the latest cool exercise and wellness body performance tests in the market. If you're a wellness junky like me, this section is for you. 

From blood tests (InsideTracker & WellnessFx) to genetic code assessments (FitnessGenes, 23andME, DNAFit, ORIGNN3N) , you get comprehensive information about your body that will allow you to make a more educative decision about your wellness plan or lifestyle.

ORIGN3N is based in Boston so guess what will be on my 2017 to do list? Stopping by the lab to see what's going on in this fantastic machine that my body is. I hope I don't find out that I've basically been wasting my whole life running when I should've been doing another sport. 

Regardless of what the tests say, I will never stop eating rice.

Fall Fitness Routine 2016

Last year I ran a lot during the fall. It's my favourite weather to run in because the crisp cold air keeps you cool as your body temperature heats up. Also, running in the woods surrounded by lakes is a beautiful way to enjoy New England picturesque nature and observe the changes in leaves colours.

This year am switching things up a little bit.

Cardio: I signed up for indoor soccer twice a week. I try to not take too many breaks and work really hard when am in the game because I do want to use it not just as a fun activity but a workout.

Strength Training:

 I'm doing more toning exercises by using YouTube videos  for at home routines using 10lbs free weights. Specifically I reference ToneItUp, who post daily exercise routines that are to be done in 31 repetitions. Currently , they have an ongoing challenge (till the end of the year) and while I am not formerly participating in the challenge, I still perform some of the routines on my own.

The cross punch laying down with free weights

Inspiration: Fitness and Wellness Coach Gideon Akande. I am loving all the free body weight routines suggestions he posts on his facebook page

New Move loving:
The Sprinter's Start Low Lunge( as an exercise ), which I discovered from Gideon's Facebook page.

Nutrition habit: I am trying to cut back on my caffeine consumption by starting my day with a cup of any tea with drops of lemon juice. So that by the time I transition to coffee by brunch time I've only had one cup. The idea is sometimes just having something "warm" to mimic my coffee consumption habit will hopefully trick my brain into thinking am having coffee when in actuality am not.

What are your fall fitness/wellness routines?
Submit your answers at my twitter account @mapetiteniche or respond below

Now Playing: Falana

She's a musician who spent a year in Cuba to hone her craft.

What baby steps are you taking today? towards your major goal?

Since discovering her music, I have had it on repeat every evening after a long day of work. It's so perfect for fall's chilly weather, or for an intimate moment splitting a bottle of wine with a friend or if you're like me, by yourself, lol.

 I believe in self development and stepping outside of your comfort zone so that you can grow.
Her sound reminds me that life is beautiful. 
That we should appreciate it. 
That we should be grateful that we get to experience it daily. 
That there's a lot to be grateful for if we just pause and think about it.

Have a great week!

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