June 1, 2019

Live Well 2019: June

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 am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

I learned a new way to study the Bible from a sweet and super wise lady at church. It involves writing down the actual Scriptures you are reading for that day, whether it's three verses or a whole chapter. Highlight the words or parts God has emphasized to you and then look up the meanings of those words and find some reliable commentaries to give context to the verses.

It actually helps with memorizing the verses because you are reading it, writing it, and then looking into it further. This one stuck out to me the other day. This has been so true for my life. The days when I'm in the Word and focusing on God and in-tune with the Spirit are the days I feel the best, or at least feel like no matter what my circumstances are I can get through it because I am connected to the "vine."

Apart from Jesus, we can do NOTHING. This part may upset people because these days we hear the message of, "you are good enough just as you are," so much. But it's actually the opposite of the truth of what Jesus says here. The truth is, we are not enough and we never will be, but the great news - the best news ever - is that IN Christ we are good enough, because He is good enough! Thats the message of the gospel and that can give people so much hope. So be encouraged that when you're feeling unworthy, take the pressure off, because, guess what, you're not! But Jesus is worthy, so cling to Him and you will not only be worthy, but connected to the only One who can give you sustenance and life!

Smoothie Mixmaster

Sweet Potato Chocolate Peanut Butter
I know it's weird to think about sweet potato in a smoothie... but trust me, it's amazing! Sweet Potato adds an extra level of creaminess. Cut/cube and peel the potatoes and steam them for about 15 minutes, then freeze them.

1 banana
Few chunks of frozen sweet potato
Cacao powder
Scoop of natural peanut butter
One medjool date
Splash of plant milk
Amount of milk will vary the smoothie-nice cream consistency.

Dig Deeper Recommendation

Lost Women of The Bible by Carolyn Custis James
If you are someone who has always been confused on the message around women's roles in the church, then read this book! I haven't finished it yet, but I listened to a podcast with this author and she talks a little about it and the inspiration behind it. The main idea: God gave women a purpose and a voice of our own. It's not that we are less than men, and not that we are more, but we are equally pivotal to the growth of the bride of Christ. This book discusses various women in the Bible and their stories to expose how God views women, and how that sometimes differs from how our "church culture" views women.

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

Plant-Based Meal

BBQ Jackfruit Tacos
Jackfruit is such a great alternative to meat, especially when you’re going for a pulled pork or shredded beef vibe! Canned jackfruit from Trader Joe's is always my go-to. It's already chunked up, so just drain and then cut off the hard bottom of the triangle parts of each chunk. Boil them for about 20 minutes until soft, and then put BBQ sauce of choice on them. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

Assemble tacos according to your preference. Mine always include avocado! Roasted corn and a cabbage slaw go really nicely with the BBQ flavor of the jackfruit! Give it a try and enjoy!

Yoga Move

Camel Pose
This pose is great for opening up your chest and the anterior (front) of your upper body. The key is to keep your core and gluteals engaged so your spine is supported. Check out this helpful video!

Vegan Snack/Dessert

I just discovered the greatest Lemon Poppy Seed Cake from Rainbow Plant Life! It's decadent, but light and summery! Its also 100% vegan!!! It uses ingredients like fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest, which really make a difference in the lemon flavor.

I was lazy and didn’t cut the two cakes in half to make 4 layers. So I recommend that for a more even ratio of cake to jam! This vegan lemon poppy-seed layer cake has homemade blackberry jam which is super easy to make and a delicious vegan cream cheese frosting! I hope you try it!

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 I just finished my second season 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.

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!