Does God Make You Sick?

A lot has been going on around here as we are now almost a month away from our move date.

Eric’s cousin Faye came into town just as the temperatures started to warm up (to 30) and we got to introduce her to our little city of Minneapolis.

In the five years that Eric has lived here she’s always been a big talker about visiting but never did. Right before we move, knowing this will be her first and probably last visit, she follows through. Sounds like this was her strategy all along…

We were so happy to have her here to see what life in the “Great White North” is like for us! We visited Lake Calhoun so she could play in “the woods” (apparently any area with a couple of “Christmas trees” and the absence of palm trees is considered the woods) and have a snow fight with Eric.

We took her to this cute little ice cream shop just up the street from the lake. It’s an old house that’s been remodeled into the sweetest little cafe with a garage that has been converted into a four seasons patio with an indoor/outdoor fireplace and gorgeous lighting.


Ice cream in the middle of winter after a snow fight sounds sort of strange but here you get a certain percentage off your bill depending on how cold the temperature is outside. I thought this was a creative business strategy for ice cream or soft-serve businesses in the north.

I’m not a desert person and I’m really picky about my ice cream but this place always surprises me! Two summers ago, after a long run around Lake Calhoun & Lake Harriet, I stopped here for an ice cream treat. I had the most amazing Almond Limon ice cream. A sweet lemon ice cream with real lemon juice and zest with pieces of sliced toasted almonds. Delicious!

This time I tried a flavor that was a fresh strawberry ice cream with pieces of shaved coconut and cayenne pepper. It was perfect! I loved the warm finish from the heat of the cayenne in the middle of winter.

Ice cream was followed by coffee time as we stayed out of the cold and enjoyed each other’s company. I found a lavender syrup to lightly sweeten my coffee – a flavor that more coffee shops need to offer.

Our adventures around Minnesota didn’t last very long since Faye brought something from the plane that sent my low immune system into a downward spiral.

It started off with a sore throat and body aches on Friday, turned into a hacking cough with no voice on Monday, congestion, watery eyes, sneezing by Tuesday and a full blown sinus infection by Wednesday.

I’ve been researching all sorts of homeopathic remedies for sinus infections.

So far I’ve been:

  • eating cloves of fresh garlic
  • taking shots of organic apple cider vinegar
  • drinking lots of fluids and warm water with lemon and local honey
  • using a neti pot several times a day with a few drops of eucaylptus, tea tree, and peppermint oil
  • taking a spoonful of coconut oil with four drops of oregano oil (anti-bacterial – powerful oil that burns on contact)
  • creating my own vapor rub with grapeseed oil and a combination of eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lemon, rosemary, and lavender oils.

I’ve also been taking shots of this amazing new kefir I found that’s made with coconut water instead of dairy. Your immune system is directly impacted by what’s happening in your digestive system so probiotics and kombucha go a long way in helping restore your body to health.


My go-to potion of water, lemon, honey and cayenne that I posted about just a few days earlier wasn’t cutting it. I was trying anything holistic and natural since I can’t take any over-the-counter meds or antibiotics.

Trying everything and still being so miserable got me thinking that there is no “secret weapon potion” outside of the Lord’s will. I’m not entitled to complete health no matter how healthy my choices are, no matter how powerful my natural remedies may be.

I had tried everything in MY power to heal myself and when none of it worked I remembered that the only way I’d be healthy would be if the Lord willed it. He gives and he takes away.

My strongest remedy wasn’t anything listed above but the kindness of God to give grace and make me whole.


Weeknight Meal: Walnut-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli & Fennel

I’m thinking of high-protein/low-carb dinners that my husband will love after he gets home from work.

This night I decided on a walnut crusted salmon with roasted fennel and broccoli.

I used my Vitamix to crush the handful of walnuts and cayenne that I had with a cup of olive olive oil. I whisked two eggs together in another small dish and dipped the salmon in the “egg bath” before I covered them in the pan with all of the copped walnuts.

After your salmon is coated you’ll transfer it to a skillet and cook it for about 4 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other side.

While the salmon is cooking you’ll get your veggies ready: Fire up your oven to 450. Chop your fennel and broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

While the oven is heating you’ll toss your vegetables in a big bowl with olive oil, salt and your favorite seasonings.
I used thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Most likely your salmon will finish cooking before your roasted vegetables. While you’re waiting you’ll spoon fat-free cottage cheese onto a plate and top it with fresh berries. The sweetness of the berries will perfectly compliment the citrus notes of the salmon and the sweetness of the roasted vegetables.


Brussels Sprout Salad



I’m sick of the traditional spinach salads. I switched over to chopped salads (which I love!) in the last year. Lots of romaine, red onion, corn, etc. But now I’m feeling the need to mix up my salad routine. Here’s a great nutrient-rich alternative: BRUSSELS SPROUTS!


Take a pound of brussels sprouts, cut off the stem and peel off the outer green leaves for your salad. You’ll discard the rest of the sprout for another delicious use.

Have a pot of water heating up and boiling while you’re peeling your sprouts. You’ll boil the leaves for 90 seconds just to soften their texture and bring out the brilliant green color. Make sure you have a big bowl of ice water ready. After you drain the sprouts you’ll transfer them to this ice bath to stop the cooking process and keep them fresh and cool.


While your leaves are cooling you’ll start to toast your sliced almonds. Set your oven to 400 degrees and cook for about 8 minutes. Almonds tend to burn easily. You’ll want to peek in on them through the toasting process to make sure they don’t get too brown & lose their sweet toasty flavor.



While my almonds are toasting I combine 1/4 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a large bowl with freshly cracked sea salt & pepper. I add a handful of shaved parmesan and my drained brussels sprout leaves with some baby arugula and some chopped grilled chicken. Mix it all up for a perfect summer salad that rivals all of your traditional salad options!