October 1, 2019

Live Well 2019: October

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, Serbia, and is now in Spain. 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!


Found an awesome church here in Barcelona called International Church of Barcelona! They are an English speaking church but offer audio messages in Spanish and we sing some worship songs in Spanish. I've met some cool people there already and I'm super encouraged to see the friendships that will develop this year. Anyways, one of the pastors started off a sermon series in the Gospel of Mark this past Sunday, and it was so good, I have to share some thoughts.

First, the book of Mark was written to Roman people. People who were used to kings taking their authority by force, by actions, by doing. So Mark, in his writing style, doesn't dance around topics, he doesn't frolic through the teachings of Jesus; but more so, he shows the actions of Jesus. The Romans were not a "tell me" type of culture, they were a "show me" type of culture, and that's exactly what Mark does in his gospel account of Jesus.

Second, the first thing Mark does in Mark 1:1 is introduce Jesus and "the Messiah" and the "Son of God." Two attributes that would have been a crazy accusation for the Jewish people at that time. But Mark chose those descriptions because he knew who Jesus was. The question posed by the pastor on Sunday was this: "Who do YOU say Jesus is?" That stuck with me. Is He just some great teacher? Some moral example? The Savior of the world and the Redeemer of your soul? Let's ponder that this week as we reflect on our perception of Jesus compared to who He actually was and is!!

Smoothie Mixmaster

Have you ever made a Black Smoothie?? Well, if you use activated charcoal, you can! Activated charcoal is typically made from burning peat, coconut shells, bone char, olive pits, or a few other things at a high temperature thus "activating" it. Meaning it is more porous than regular charcoal. (I use the ones made from coconut shells insuring it is vegan and from a natural source.)
*more about Activated Charcoal*
Some benefits of consuming activated charcoal are: emergency poison treatment, possible reduction in cholesterol, teeth whitening, gas bloating, hangover prevention, and more.

Recipe: Dr. OZ Show
1 tsp chia seeds
2 cups chilled almond milk
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup kale
1 ripe banana
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp agave syrup
¼ tsp activated charcoal powder

*blend and enjoy the detoxing effects of charcoal!!
**Heads Up: do not take medication 90 minutes before or after drinking! It is really good at absorbing from the GI tract, so it will minimize medical effects/purposes.

Dig Deeper Recommendation

I recently came across a documentary called The American Gospel: Christ Alone. I highly recommend checking it out, Christian or non-Christian. Going along with my Inspiration topic above, this film explains the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and why it is vitally important to understand the truth about who He is!

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

Plant-Based Meal

Butternut Squash Fries by Eating Bird Food

Just in time for Fall, this recipe is easy and perfect for all things pumpkin/squash/comfort/Fall!
All you need is 2 ingredients: Butternut Squash & sea salt (or any other fall spices that spark your fancy)!

Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
Peel the squash. (optional)
Cut the butternut squash in half and de-seed it like you would a cantaloupe.
Cut it up into French fry shapes.
Try to make the pieces similar in size so that they finish cooking at the same time.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
Place tray in your pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes or so, flipping halfway through baking process.
Fries are done when they are starting to brown on the edges and get crispy.
Serve with ketchup or your favorite French fry dipping sauce.

Yoga Move

Glute Bridge
This month's goal is to strengthen more so than stretch. Gluteal strength is key for alignment in the hips and spine. Glute bridges are simple but amazing; we don't always need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to exercise selection!

Tips: Rather than feet flat on the floor, I like to flex my feet so only my heels are on the floor because this actives my extensors in my shins; it's an easy way to engage more of your muscles. Also, slide your shoulder blades down, away from your ears, and together to open up your chest and allow more hip extension and, therefore, gluteal activation.

You can chose to do isometric hold for a period of time (30-40 seconds) and a few sets (3-4). Or do 10-14 repetitions, rest, and repeat for 3-4 sets. A more advanced variation is to do single-leg glute bridges! I love single-leg exercises because studies show that more unilateral work translates well to bilateral power! Cool! You can also add a Theraband around your lower thighs (right above the knees) and work to not allow your knees to collapse inward, this challenges your glute medius, a smaller but equally important muscle in the gluteal region.

Vegan Treat

This month I'm switching it up for a little more savory of a treat! Being vegan doesn't have to mean sacrificing cheesy spreads, especially when you can make them from scratch using whole foods and avoid processed crap. I have made mac n' cheese sauce before, I've also attempted to make actual vegan cheese (and failed), but this recipe is fool-proof!

From FIVESEC HEALTH: (she even has a plant-based meal plan app)
2 cups raw cashews (soak for a few hours and drain)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp salt
Handful chopped chives (or other herbs to your liking)
*Everything goes in blender or food processor (except chives; mix those in after).
*Refrigerate for a while before spreading so it can thicken a bit.


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, then in Serbia, and now I'm playing this season in Spain.

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!