February 1, 2019

Live Well 2019: February

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 2016-2017.

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. 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!


Proverbs 8:35 “Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home.” 

Wisdom isn't a one-time encounter. It is a daily seeking, waiting, watching, and discovering. And wisdom isn't hard to find, because Jesus is wisdom personified! 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself.” How encouraging! When we don’t have the answers, we can go to the One who not just holds the greatest wisdom from God, but IS wisdom in himself! But let's be challenged to continue to go back for more, daily, and be filled up again by his wisdom!

Smoothie Mixmaster

My latest smoothie bowl is a berry powerhouse! Clinical research shows that berries have a protective effect against cancer - so freaking cool! Unfortunately, berries are not in season right now in Serbia, so I must buy them frozen. However, it actually works in my favor because that makes it easy to throw them into any of my smoothie creations (or defrost them and sprinkle on my oatmeal). Enjoy this Berry Blast!
Handful frozen raspberries
Handful frozen blueberries
Handful frozen strawberries
Handful frozen blackberries
1-2 pitted dates
Small knob of fresh ginger
1 orange (peeled)
Handful fresh spinach
Agave nectar (optional)
1 Tbsp. flaxseed or chia seed or both
*add some water and blend it all up!

Dig Deeper Recommendation

Book time! One "resolution" I made this year was to read more! My goal is to read at least 30 minutes a day. The book I am reading at the moment was a gift from a sweet friend. She gave it to me before I left for Serbia saying, "I bought two, one for you and one for me, so we can read it together even across the world." It's called Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. Lysa is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and has several books out that help women conquer life using Biblical principles.

Uninvited's subtitle is "Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely." There are so many great truths and gems of wisdom in this book so far, I've done a lot of highlighting! But one of my favorite quotes is when she talks about trusting God with the unknown rather than letting our minds and imaginations run wild with fears, doubts, and worry. Lysa encourages, "In other words, those with minds fully braced, upheld, and supported by truth and trust in God will be in perfect peace. The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or breaking of my identity." Intrigued yet? Go have a read.

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

Plant-Based Meal

Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings"
If you've had buffalo wings, then you will love this classic "game day" party food. The cool things about this meat alternative are that cauliflower is very filling and packed with phytonutrients that are key for a healthy gut and body, vitamins C and K, antioxidants, and it has ZERO CHOLESTEROL (as opposed to any meat wing option). There are many ways to make this dish, but here's an easy one I like from #buzzfeedtasty (here is a video showing you the steps, too).

1 head of cauliflower
¾ cup flour
¾ cup milk/milk alternative
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup buffalo/hot sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil/vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 450˚F. (230˚C). Break the head of cauliflower into florets, about 1½ inches wide. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and milk, and stir until well-combined. Add the cauliflower florets to the batter, making sure each piece is evenly coated. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. In a small mixing bowl, combine the hot sauce, vegetable oil, and honey, and stir until evenly combined. Brush the hot sauce mixture on cauliflower and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Yoga Move

A really great whole body flow I like to include in every yoga practice is a combination of warrior, side angle bend, and triangle flow. Rather than describe each position, I have some pictures that can help explain. (These are super common moves, no need to worry).

I usually start in a low lunge and then swing up to warrior II, settle in, take a few deep breaths, and then move to side angle pose (can do a variation with the arms, extended or bound), take a few breaths here, then move to triangle. Flowing back down to low lunge, I'll step the foot back and flow into plank, then take a "chaturanga" to upward-dog, then into downward-dog. Once you flow on that side, step the opposite foot through and flow on the other side.

Vegan Snack/Dessert

One of my favorite snacks seems pretty unusual, and, at first, it seemed unusual to me, too. My vegan friend shared this with me even before I was vegan. It's simple. Ready? Peanut butter and carrots! I'm telling you, it tastes loads better than it sounds. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Literally just open up a jar of PB and dip a raw carrot in it. (I wash and peel the carrot first.) Carrots have fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. The peanut butter has good fats and protein as well, which is great before volleyball practice.

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 FacebookInstagram, 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!