April 1, 2019

Live Well 2019: April

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 have had the outrageous opportunity to hang out with a Christian missionary family here in Serbia! They are currently adding team members who are trickling into town one at a time and plan to spend six months to two years here serving the community. I have learned a lot from these amazing people and they loaned me a book to read called Is That Really You, God? by Loren Cunningham. Cunningham started the missionary organization called Youth With A Mission (or YWAM) based on a vision God gave him years ago. He saw waves crashing on the shores of every single country on the globe, and those waves were waves of young people covering the globe with the message of the Gospel. Y'all, I'm not even halfway through it and I'm hooked. It's filled with anecdotal experiences and it's basically just his story. One quote that stuck out to me was from Loren's mother after receiving a discouraging word from a friend about her sick husband. She had a different vision herself from God on the same subject: "Later Mom pointed out an important aspect of guidance to us. 'Getting God's leading from someone else is tricky,' Mom said, 'We can hear a confirming voice through another person. But if God has something important to tell you, He will speak to you directly.'" Mic drop. So good!

Smoothie Mixmaster

Simnett Nutrition: Neapolitan "Nice" Cream

If you don't follow this guy on YouTube, you should! He is a vegan bodybuilder and studies nutrition up in Canada. At the end of the video he makes a vegan twist on the classic tri-color/tri-flavor ice cream, the Neapolitan (vanilla, strawberry, chocolate).
I'm all about the different ways you can create nice cream flavors and the possibilities are truly as endless as normal dairy ice cream.
He uses bananas as the base of his version, but there are other options if you are not bananas for bananas (okay, bad joke). Coconut cream works really well without sacrificing creaminess. Just pour into ice cube trays and freeze for a few hours then add to blender.

Dig Deeper Recommendation

This podcast recommendation is coming from the big, beautiful world of plant-based nutrition! (Are you surprised?!) There is a full-blown website of FREE research-based nutrition facts, logically called nutritionfacts.org. Started by Dr. Michael Greger, this website offers articles and, my personal favorite, short videos that summarize the latest research in all things plant-based nutrition in an easy-to-digest way.
The podcast is a great way to get these same facts that the website provides, just on-the-go.
Some of my favorite podcast episodes are:
- Vegetarian Athletes
- Boosting Immune Function
- Daily Dozen Checklist

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

Plant-Based Meal

Super Creamy Banana Oatmeal (Porridge, for the British folks)
We are switching it up and doing breakfast this month! This is a meal that I have most mornings because it's easy, simple, and amazingly nourishing. Oats are fiber-packed superheroes that keep you full for hours, so I usually always eat them before morning practice to ensure I have enough energy.
1 cup rolled oats
1 smashed banana
1 cup plant milk + 1/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
Combine mashed banana and liquid and bring to a simmer, add oats and flax and stir often until oats soften and mixture gets thick. Add whatever toppings you want (I usually do pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, more banana or some berries, honey, coconut shavings, more cinnamon because I LOVE it, and maybe some drizzled peanut butter). 

Yoga Move

Cow Pose
This is an awesome hip opener that I recently discovered. Similar to a standard cross-legged sitting position, but its focus is trying to get the knees to stack on top of each other. Sitting up all on your "sit bones" is key to getting a deep stretch in the hips. Be sure to switch legs and breathe at least 5 good breaths on each side. (Arms don't have to be bound in eagle pose, as pictured.)

Related image

Vegan Snack/Dessert

Take Five (With or W/O Pretzel)
medjool dates
vanilla extract
peanuts (chopped)
peanut butter
vegan chocolate
sea salt

Blend dates, splash of vanilla, and a bit of sea salt in food processor.
Spray mini muffin pan with some sort of nonstick nonsense.
Fill mini holes 1/3ish full with the date mixture.
Add peanut butter and sprinkle peanuts for next layer.
Melt chocolate with maybe a bit of coconut oil and drizzle for top layer, add pretzel and more sea salt. 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 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!