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The Truth About My Acne.

Pure Anthem

Three months prior to the start of my acne (engagement and wedding!)  ((click images to scroll through!))

The first eight months of marriage looked like this for me! ((click images to scroll through!))

 

Three years ago acne rocked my world. It may seem petty or vain to some people, but the Lord used it to change my heart in more than one way.  My whole life I had clear skin, then suddenly at twenty-three and a month into my marriage-I didn’t want to let my husband see my skin without makeup. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.  It literally would shock me when I would wash my face and see the red bumps covering my once baby soft skin each like emergency sirens going off across my face.  I was consumed with my insecurities and couldn’t bear to look people in the eye because I knew they weren’t looking at my eyes they were looking at my skin.

This is how my journey to complete health began.

First step to recovery: Admitting you have a problem. 

I was in denial! I must be having an allergic reaction to something.  All of the new vegan foods I had been eating. SOY, it has to be soy. Maybe RICE? My entirely Asian in-laws laughed that one off (now so do I!) Gluten. No. I love bread…it couldn’t be gluten.  Chocolate (not my idea, of course) No. Not that either.  Lord, have mercy, what could it be??

Step two: There is a higher power (Jesus) and he knows way more about your face than you.

Okay, Lord. Why is my face like this? Please I will do anything to make it better.

Stop worrying about it.

Yes, okay.  I won’t think about…but why is it like this!?

When you are free, you will be free.

 Step three: Depend on Jesus.

I had tried everything. Changing my diet, changing my face wash, bowel detoxing, you name it. It all helped some but none of it got rid of my acne. I couldn’t understand.  But I knew that the Lord knew why and that in time he would show me if I was seeking the truth.

Step four: Search your heart.

Why did the way I looked consume me?  My thoughts, my joy, my spirit all suffering simply because of how my face looked. WOW. When I put it that way, when I was honest with myself, I was embarrassed.  How could the way I look matter so much when Jesus died for me?! There is nothing in this life that could ever mean more than this.  My thoughts, my joy, and my spirit do depend on that one single event.

Step five: Be honest about your mistakes.

When you stop caring about what your skin looks like you will be free.

The Lord spoke this to me one morning.  For me, this was profound.  It was so simple and made so much sense, yet it seemed impossible.  But I knew what the Lord had told me.  All this time I tried to solve my problem physically and with my own strength when all I needed to do was focus on Jesus.  I remember telling Ben, “The Lord told me today that my skin won’t clear up until I stop caring about it.” I felt silly, like a little girl.  But he knew in his heart just as I did in mine, Jesus just wanted my heart and with it being consumed with insecurities, he couldn’t have it. Not fully.

Step six: Surrender.

This step is the simplest and hardest step all wrapped up in one word. Surrender.  I still don’t know how to surrender. But I do it every day. I surrender my heart, my fear, my doubts, I surrender the things I don’t understand.  It cannot be explained or understood, but the key I have found is to have a willing heart.  If you are willing to give everything to Jesus, he will take it.  That is surrendering.

Step seven: Jesus, I surrender.

What came out of me surrendering was this, surrendering meant believing that Jesus healed me even if my face did not reflect it.  Even if I had acne for the rest of my life, it was okay.  It was more than okay, it was freeing.  It didn’t matter what my skin looked like because surrendering allowed Jesus to heal my heart.

Step eight and nine: Find people and share your story.

Share you story so that others that are hurting or suffering the way you have can see they are not alone.  That Jesus is with them through everything. Even when it seems petty and vain like acne.  He will heal those who seek Him, seek the truth, and believe in Him.

Step ten: Stay on track.

Keep your eyes open. Don’t wander off the path that Jesus made straight. Don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in the thoughts or ideas that once caused you to lose focus on Jesus.

Step eleven: Grow.

Commit your life to becoming closer to Jesus. 

Step twelve: Help others.

Whenever I have the slightest chance to talk about my skin, I DO! I offer the advice I know to be true, about food----cutting dairy, processed foods, refined sugars, drinking tons and tons of water.  Detoxing to promote healthy digestive system. Exercising, because movement is life!  But I also share what the Lord told me, that my face would never clear until it didn’t matter to me any more.

Today! My skin is clear. But there is so much more to it. There is no magic fix it all through detoxing, skincare lines, or diets. But all of this together, with Jesus as my only motivation, my skin was healed along with my mind, body, and spirit! 

Today! My skin is clear. But there is so much more to it. There is no magic fix it all through detoxing, skincare lines, or diets. But all of this together, with Jesus as my only motivation, my skin was healed along with my mind, body, and spirit! 

Once you have your focus ((Jesus)) right, here are some of the things I did to take care of my body ((a sacred temple of the Lord!)) 

 -Eating a plant-based diet! 

(Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, brown rice, almond milk, NO DAIRY, NO MEAT, NO ANIMAL BI-PRODUCTS!) 

- Detox!  

(We use practically all of Dr. Schulze's products! A lot of SUPERFOOD, and we try to do a Bowel Detox 1-2 times a year. A healthy digestive system helps everything in your body work better!)

- Exercise!  

(I still haven't stuck to a completely strict schedule of exercise but every bit counts! Do it when you can. Walking, running, and P90X3 are my favorite options!) 

- Drink a ton of water!!  

(Your main liquid intake should be water! You can use an app to make sure you are consuming enough. I also enjoy drinking tea and hot water with lemon! Keep sugary drinks to a minimum including coffee!)

Tell us your story! We would love to hear it :) and feel free to ask any questions! 

God bless! 

Shannon

Pumpkin Spice "CAFFEINE FREE" Vegan Latte

Brittney Elizabeth

Serves 1

Let me just start off by saying that when I was playing with this recipe in the kitchen and whipped it up and served it to Ms. Shannon Marta... she took a sip...and burned her tongue. =( Then after that dramatic episode... she took another sip... and her big brown eyes brightened up like a BNY LED WALL! ;-) She said, "OH MY GOSH! We have to post this on the BLOGGGG!".

So, here I am! Let me tell you also, that we are NOT coffee drinkers! This recipe HAS NO COFFEE!? "Whatever do you mean?" many coffee advocates may exclaim with drastic expressions of fear of losing one's purpose in this hipster beverage of a world. =) No, it simply doesn't have any coffee BUT I DO have a reputable source. His name is Riley and he is the talented producer behind Bread of Stone's latest albums! He was at our house last week working on our new record and HE IS A SERIOUS NASHVILLE PRODUCER COFFEE DRINKER! Seriously! I made him this, he took a sip while aiming his eyes directly on the colorful screen of PRO TOOLS and then looked back at me and said, "YOU CAN'T EVEN TELL THERE ISN'T ANY COFFEE IN IT!". =) =) =) (THIS MADE ME SMILE!)

Enjoy this recipe, friends! All things PUMPKIN and CINNAMON are whirling in our kitchen lately while the fall breeze rustles in and there is nothing better that finding a beautiful accompaniment to a traditional style beverage!

-No hipsters, coffee drinkers, or Nashville musician producers were hurt during the writing of this blog. ;-)

INGREDIENTS:

-1 cup almond milk

-1 1/2 TSP PUMPKIN SPICE

-2 TBS HONEY 

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Combine all ingredients in your blender! NOW HERE IS THE TRICK! You preferably need to blend this on LOW for about one minute! (This is going to create a wonderful frothy consistency!) After one minute has passed, increase the speed for a few seconds! Then you are ready to pour into a small pot!

-Warm up on medium heat! This will spruce the froth up even more! Then once its warmed up to your liking...pour into the cutest mug you can find and enjoy!

-OH! AND DON'T FORGET TO GARNISH YOUR LATTE WITH PUMPKIN SPICE SPRINKLED ON THE TOP! ;-)

 

 

 

Mama's Chili

Pure Anthem

mama'schili.jpg

Growing up once it got chili in the panhandle of Florida I knew it wasn't long before Mama would start making her Chili! When your mama makes something it just always taste better! I am not saying this recipe is better than hers but I am saying this is my try to replicate her delicious way she made Chili when I was growing up in a completely vegan way! ;-) Her love is what made everything she made taste so delicious! 

This chili is packed full of vegetables! After one bowl you will be amazed at how full you are! Enjoy the crisp weather of fall, my dears. Breath it in and embrace the changing of seasons in your life, whatever form or fashion it may be revealing itself.

Ingredients

-1 TBS Coconut Oil 

-1 cup vegetable broth

-2 onions (your choice of color)

-5 garlic cloves

-2 cups baby bella mushrooms

-1 cup zucchini

-1 1/2 cup celery

-4 cups tomatoes

-1 can kidney beans

-1 can pinto beans

-1 can black beans

-1 can organic corn

-2 veggie burger patties

-1 1/2 TBS chili powder

-3 bay leaves

-2 TSP ground cumin

-2 TSP smoked paprika

-1/4 TSP cayenne pepper

Sea salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste 

Instructions

-Heat Coconut oil in a large heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions to the melted coconut oil and then when the onions become soft, add the garlic, and let it simmer.

-Add the mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and celery, and mix. 

-Then stir in the veggie broth, tomatoes, the beans, veggie burger, chili powder, bay leaves, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

-Cover, bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer. Let it cook for 45 minutes to an hour! Just until it thickens up to the way you like it!

-Don't forget to add salt and pepper to your liking and remove the bay leaves before serving or just tell everyone to be aware of them and not to eat them. If someone does eat one, it's not the end of the world. My brother, Ben, likes to eat them but you just have to chew for a really long time.

NOTE: Make sure not to buy a soy-filled, synthetic, looks healthy but really not kind of veggie burger. Read the ingredients and make sure they are whole food ingredients, vegan (of course) or if you have time just make your own! 

PURPLE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

Pure Anthem

PUREPLEPROTEINSMOOTHIE

No one loves an afternoon smoothie snack more than us! It is just the perfect creamy bliss to light up your afternoon in such an energetic way! For me, the afternoon is always when I seem to get a little sleepy, probably because it's the time of day when I force myself to sit still at my computer. =) This smoothie will energize your day with its beautiful digestive properties! Our Purple Protein Smoothie recipe is another one inspired by the beautiful Kimberly Snyder! Her research of food and health has taught us so much and we enjoy playing and experimenting with her recipes!

INGREDIENTS

-1 CUP OF ALMOND MILK

-1 CUP OF WATER

-2 TBS OF YOUR FAVORITE VEGAN PROTEIN (optional)

-1 CUP FROZEN BLUEBERRIES OR CHERRIES

-3 TBS RAW HONEY

-1 TSP CINNAMON

-1/2 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT

-1 BANANA

-1 TSP BEE POLLEN

INSTRUCTIONS

-ADD ALL INGREDIENTS IN YOUR BLENDER AND BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH! =)

Heavenly Hearty Tomato Soup

Pure Anthem

Vegan - Serves 2

Hey y'all! Shannon here, and we are so excited to have the chance to share a new recipe with you! Here is a quote from Brittney Kristijanto herself whilst she makes a big 'ole batch of this very soup!!

"We want to apologize for not having any posts recently!! Our husbands have been keeping us very busy with 'Every Christian Festival in the Country!' (said in her Sarah Palin voice). While we are breathing the fresh crisp air of fall we finally had the chance to try some new recipes inspired by this heavenly fall weather!" -Brittney Kristijanto

Soup is always a good choice, and tomato soup has always been a favorite of mine! This recipe is inspired by a Kimberly Snyder recipe that just "tickled our toes!" as my sweet southern sister would say!

So, without further ado:

Ingredients

2 Cups plus 1/4 Cup of Veggie Broth

1.5 Cups of Diced White Onions

1 Medium Clove of Garlic (peeled and chopped)

1 Medium Carrot (peeled and chopped)

1 Medium Celery Stalk (chopped)

3 Cups of Quartered Tomatoes

1/4 Cup of Tomato Paste

1/3 Cup of Fresh Basil (chopped)

1 Teaspoon of Dried Oregano

1.5 Teaspoon Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

1.5 Cups of Unsweetened Coconut Milk

2 Bay Leaves

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste 

Steps

  1. Sautee the onions in a large soup pot with the 1/4 cup of veggie broth on medium heat. When the onions become translucent add the garlic.
  2. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 2 cups of veggie broth, and tomato paste and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer-covered for 15 minutes. Stir frequently.
  4. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool. Add basil, apple cider vinegar and then blend.
  5. Put the soup back into the pot, add the coconut milk and bay leaves and simmer to serve!

 

We hope you enjoy this delicious soup on a crisp fall or icy winter day like we did!