January 4, 2019

Live Well 2019: January

Welcome to the renewed guest post series of Live Well 2019, thanks to my dear friend/client/Bible study buddy, Sarah! The previous stint of fabulous Live Well guest posting was done by my sister, Lindsay Wampler, from September, 2016, through August, 2017.

This time around, we will post once a month for the year of 2019, in tandem with The Pro Player Timeline posts.

Sarah Blomgren is another California-Christian-Volleyball-Crazy who has played in England, Finland, and is currently living and playing in Serbia. Sarah adds a deeper dimension to being a professional athlete abroad with her commitment to maintaining a plant-based diet based on vegan guidelines, developing her professional profile, and growing as an athlete and person.

Sarah and I met through Elite Volley, and we have been a part of Athletes in Action online Bible study groups for professional athletes overseas. We got to welcome the New Year of 2019 together in Vilsbiburg, so it only seemed fitting for us to also share our idea space for 2019 to better equip and encourage our fellow athletes and expats abroad!


Jeremiah 33:3 “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” 

I've been studying through the book of Jeremiah for the past two months, and it has been super challenging and encouraging at the same time. Jeremiah was constantly in a season of discomfort as he had to deliver bad news to people who did not care.

But what's cool is that God always encourages Jeremiah through every tough task. This verse encourages me that God does want us to come to Him and ask Him what's next. He is always communicating and, indeed, He wants to let us in on His plans. The challenge is to silence the noise around us, ask Him, and then listen.

Smoothie Mixmaster

250-350 ml (depends on the consistency you're after) Plant milk (soy, almond, coconut, whatever you're feelin')
1 Frozen banana (the key is to peel and cut into chunks before freezing)
Handful of frozen berries
1 Scoop of vanilla Complete Shake mix by Juice Plus+® (plant-based protein blend, whole ingredients, ancient grains, and sprouts)
Dash of cinnamon
1 Medjool date (great natural sweetener + fiber)
Handful of spinach
*If you make more of a "nice cream" consistency, then go for a smoothie bowl! Transfer to bowl and add any goodies you want on top (goji berries, coconut flakes, chia seeds, cacao nibs, granola, etc.)

Dig Deeper Recommendation

I love podcasts! I am not a big time reader (working on that), so podcasts help me get in some good information and inspiration when my eyes aren't feelin' like doing the work.

One of my go-to podcasts is by Shari King called Overcoming Monday. Shari is a writer, speaker, mom, and pastor's wife who has a passion for helping women (and men) overcome common challenges we all face in life. She has such a heart for the Lord as well as every guest she interviews, so every episode is packed with not only great life experience, but Biblical truths and principles. These are like "take notes" podcasts. So many good gems and nuggets of knowledge. Each season has a different theme, with topics ranging from parenting, women's roles in the church, singleness, ministry, objectification of women, millennials, marriage, and much more. Check it out if you want your soul to be fed!

Stay on-task and motivated throughout the month for FREE!

Plant-Based Meal

This one if for all the Asian-inspired cuisine lovers out there.
Classic lentil and veggie curry!
I don't have a super specific recipe for this (because measuring is boring, haha), so here is a rough guideline of ingredients...

Dry lentils: green or red (however much you use, usually doubling the liquid works)
Water and light coconut milk (from the can)
Couple dashes of tamari sauce (like soy sauce but it's gluten-free and is a Japanese style of soy sauce used from miso paste; has a darker, richer taste than traditional Chinese soy)
Throw it all in a pot and bring to a boil, then simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 20-30 minutes)

Stir fry some broccoli, red bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots (and whatever else you like) in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. (I try not to cook with a lot of oils, but if you use a little, do coconut oil to match the flavors of the dish). First put lentils into a bowl, then top with stir fried veggies! Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and a little fresh cilantro! BOOM!

Yoga Move

Chair post with twist! This is great for strengthening your thighs and core. Adding the twists opens up your spine for added mobility.

Stand with feet together, toes touching and heels slightly apart.

Raise arms above head and then sink into a squat with arms still raised over head or out in front of you. Focus on keeping your core tight as to not arch your back. Don't let your shoulders creep up, keep them away from your ears. Take a few breaths and then take your opposite elbow to the outside of your knee - it helps if your palms are together in prayer - and twist looking up where the twist takes you. After a few breaths, unwind and twist the other direction over the other leg.

Vegan Snack/Dessert

Taking one out of my blog because its just so good: Ferrero Rocher Date Balls!
You can check it out on the blog, along with some other goodies.
However, I'll still give you the recipe here...

Pitted dates
Chia seeds
Natural peanut butter
Hazelnuts (whole and chopped)
Dark chocolate
Coconut oil

Put dates in food processor. Combine with peanut butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Roll each date mixture around one whole hazelnut and put in freezer. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in bowl. Cover date balls in chocolate and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top and freeze

About the Author

Hey, friends. I'm Sarah. In addition to what Christy mentioned above, I played indoor and beach volleyball in college at The University of South Carolina where I earned my bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. I then went on to get my master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and continued my volleyball career at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England. My first pro season was in Finland, and now I'm playing in Serbia.

Since then I've become 100% plant-based (vegan) and I absolutely love this world of plant-based nutrition. One fun fact about me would be that I have an obsession with doughnuts! No, not like Krispy Kreme; like actual artisan, small-batch, crazy flavor doughnuts! I try to use all my traveling as an excuse to visit doughnut shops around the world. Besides that, I love Jesus and I'm just here to figure this thing called life out the best I can through His eyes.
Ćao from Serbia!

Connect with Sarah on Facebook, Instagram, and her website.
You can contact her directly via email for more information on Juice Plus+® sarahblomgren[dot]provolleyball[at]gmail[dot]com.

Let us know in the comments below if you try any variations of these 
delicious recipes, yoga moves, or have the chance 

to check out Sarah's recommendations!