March 1, 2019

Live Well 2019: March

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!


I went to church this past Sunday in a town two hours away from where I am living in Serbia. It was started by American missionaries and local Serbians that truly love Jesus. Although most services are in the native Serbian language, there is usually someone willing to whisper translations in my ear throughout the service.

This week, the message was focused on the concept of "brotherly love," mentioned in Hebrews 13 in the Bible. One thing the preacher said resonated with me so I wrote it down in my journal and I want to share it with you. He encouraged us to, "Respect your leaders, because if you're not willing to follow someone today, how do you expect someone to follow you tomorrow?" 

This is a reminder to humbly seek wisdom from the current leadership in your life (in the church, in your profession, in your family) and work hard to respect them so that you may gain the skills to lead people who are under you. We all have people that look up to us, so it is our responsibility to steward our time, skills, and energy to best serve them and lead them when we get the chance. Take a look around today; look for the people who look up to you and look for the people who you respect enough to lead you. 

Smoothie Mixmaster

Who doesn't love a choco-peanut butter-banana combo? So here is my fav "nice cream" recipe when I'm craving something indulgent.

1 frozen banana
Plant-based milk (only a little if you want a thicker ice cream consistency)
I Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 or 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 date
*Blend it up
*Top with coconut shavings, cacao nibs, granola, peanut butter, or anything else you fancy

Dig Deeper Recommendation

PODCAST ALERT! One of my favorite new podcasts is called That Sounds Fun, (#thatsoundsfun) hosted by Annie F. Downs. She is a Christian speaker and author living in Nashville and she is absolutely hilarious. The podcast is packed full of interviews with various speakers, musicians, and even actors and athletes that are really well known (Tim Tebow, for example... hello!!???).

Her current season is all about interviewing couples! So far, she's chatted with Russel Dickerson and his wife, a few other married couples, and even dating couples. It has been so cool to hear from people who not only have amazing stories of how God weaved their relationships together, but who are actually real and talk about their frustrations and triumphs and just how they figure things out together.

Whether you're single, in a dating relationship, or married, this podcast, and particularly this series, is a great source of wisdom and just overall fun vibes.

Follow Annie and learn more about her podcast HERE.

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

Plant-Based Meal

Coconut Lentil Curry
*I don't follow any specific recipes for this, so prepare yourselves to get creative
1 cup of red lentils
Half can to full can of full fat coconut milk
Gram marsala
Dried basil
Garlic powder
Salt & pepper
(Crushed red pepper if you like it spicy)
White onion
Few garlic cloves
Lemon juice
Grated ginger
Tamari sauce
Whatever veggies you want (broccoli, red bell pepper, mushrooms, bok choy, frozen peas)

I learned that the key to Indian cooking is to dry-fry your spices first to get the aromatics out!
Do that with all the spices on low heat for like a minute and then add chopped onion and garlic with a bit of coconut oil.
Add the cup of rinsed lentils and the coconut milk and cook on low for 8-10 minutes.
Add all the veggies and rest of the ingredients and tweak the flavors as you go!
*Pro tip: add fresh cilantro to your dish at the end 

Yoga Move

Sun Salutation Flow:

Image result for sun salutation

Start standing, reach high with both hands and go into forward fold, halfway lift, and then forward fold again. Go into runner's lunge for a few breaths, then to plank and go through chatturunga to up-dog and then to down-dog. Step through to runner's lunge with the opposite foot and step both feet together and go through your forward fold series again. Do this flow a few times until you feel loose, awake, and powerful!

Vegan Snack/Dessert

Make-Your-Own-Granola Bars
*Throw rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, quinoa, and whatever other seed or nut you want onto a baking sheet and roast in oven on a low temperature for about 10 minutes.
*In a blender or food processor, combine a bunch of dates, a little maple syrup or sticky sweetener of choice, shredded coconut, a smidge of coconut oil, and peanut butter.
*Combine wet and dry ingredients and form into a big rectangle. Chill for a few hours and then cut into bars.
(You can use apricots instead of dates for a different flavor.)
(You can also add other dried fruit like raisins or dried cranberries, or go sweeter with chocolate chips.)

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!