May 1, 2019

Live Well 2019: May

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!


Having just returned from the Elite Volley Pro Combine in Belgrade, Serbia, I have been inspired to work hard this summer on improving my whole self rather than just my volleyball skills. At the combine, we players were blessed enough to have a mentor session with ex-Team USA Volleyball player, Therese Crawford. She is a mentor for young athletes that want to connect with the essence of who they are rather than define themselves by the sport they play. Her mentorship program is called Connect With Your Gift.

After spending just one hour of listening to her speak and soaking up her knowledge, I had some amazing take-aways to begin to process through in my own life. Something that will resonate with me for a long time is this quote she said, "My value (as a player) is not in what I do, what I do is an expression of what I believe about who I am." BOOM! Major truth-bomb right there!

I encourage everyone to begin to process through what exactly we believe about ourselves and find out the truth of who we are. The honest truth is our identity is that we were made in the image of God. We are His, we are loved by Him FIRST, before anything else. Knowing that has set me free from the pressure to put my identity in anything else. 

Smoothie Mixmaster

Sweet Potato Nice Cream Bowl
Sweet potato really adds a sweetness and a creaminess to the smoothie bowl. It also adds such great carbs to start your day fueled-up!

Frozen banana
Frozen chunks of boiled sweet potatoes
Plant milk
Cacao powder
Natural peanut butter
2 dates
Dash of cinnamon
Handful of kale

Dig Deeper Recommendation

By now, y'all must know that I'm obsessed with podcasts. Well, I've discovered a new one: The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman. Emily is a Christian author and speaker. She has amazing insight on our decision-making habits as people and how we process through the decisions we make in life, big and small. Click on any episode and you will get awesome take-aways to apply to your life. She helps us de-clutter our minds and focus on simply the next right decision ahead of us, rather than worrying about years in the future. She also has a new book coming out called The Next Right Thing, which I'm excited about picking up. Y'all definitely need to go subscribe to her podcast!

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

Plant-Based Meal

Image result for vegan mac n cheese
Vegan Mac n Cheese from BuzzFeed
The most comfortable of all comfort food can be made vegan!

You will need:
1 carrot
2 yellow potatoes
1/4 white onion
1/2 cup soaked cashews
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Peel and boil the carrot and potatoes for a few minutes until soft, add in the onion towards the end. Save about a cup and a half of that water from the boil. Blend with all other ingredients in blender. Add to any cooked pasta!

Yoga Move

Extended Puppy Pose
Super great after a few minutes of cat/cow. This opens up the front of my shoulders, lats, and thoracic spine! Give it a try, breathing in stillness for about 5-7 deep breaths. 
Image result for puppy pose yoga

Vegan Snack/Dessert

I just made these little cookies and they turned out pretty solid. I guess you could call them a Breakfast Cookie due to the amount of oats in them. But I think they make a good little snack whenever you need a little something throughout the day. Like I mentioned last month with the oatmeal recipe (see the Live Well 2019: April post), oats are super high in fiber which helps to keep us fuller, longer.

2 ripe bananas
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup oats
Few Tbsps of plant milk (almond, soy, coconut)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Any chopped nuts or dried fruit you want (raisins, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, etc.)
*Combine and divide into little cookies. Bake for about 10 minutes at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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!