#BlackLivesMatter

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

I don’t want to be silent, but I lack the words to express exactly how I feel. I have never woken and been in fear to go about my life due to the color of my skin. I have never thought twice before going for a jog, decorating for a party, or asking someone to put a leash on their dog in a public park. I don’t receive questioning looks as I walk through my neighborhood. I’m not watched step for step every time I enter a store. And I now realize this is not a luxury every individual throughout my country shares.

Over the past week, I have been doing my due diligence to listen to the outcry of my friends and neighbors. An outcry for justice. An outcry for peace. An outcry for equality. And throughout this time, I’ve come to four definitive conclusions:

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It Really Is This Simple: Calorie Deficits

It doesn’t take rocket science to understand when you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. This phenomenon is known as creating a calorie deficit. As you can see, every popular (and unpopular) diet actually works due to this key component: eat less + burn more = lose weight.

I covered the basic facts of calories last month, but since I spent yesterday talking about my nutritional goal to hit a calorie deficit in order to lose weight throughout the next few months, I thought it might be helpful to learn what exactly that means.

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Backyard Transformation: DIY Paver Patio

Our house continues to become a home, one project at a time. Since buying the Apple House in October 2018, we have demolished walls, refloored the entire upstairs, gutted the bathroom, changed windows, and painted every wall and ceiling. With warmer weather and COVID keeping us home, Spring 2020 was the perfect excuse to complete another project as well: designing and constructing our own backyard paver patio.

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Coping With COVID, Murder Hornets, and Closed Wineries

Coronavirus, murder hornets, economic instability — oh my! What an odd time in which we are living. 2020 has not been the start to a new decade that anyone expected. In the United States, the majority of the country has entered into some sort of “quarantine mode” with many businesses closing their doors/offices and forcing employees to work remotely. Restaurants have shut down, stores have limited access, and (gulp) all the wineries have closed in an effort to force the population to stay home and stay safe.

In my state of Michigan, quarantine has been implemented since March 16th. There is unrest among Michiganders as the weeks move forward with no change in circumstances; restaurants are struggling as delivery and curb-side are their only options to continue service, lay-offs and furloughs are being carried out by numerous corporations, and unemployment numbers nearing those of the Great Depression. Many of G’s and my favorite local stops may not be reopening as the economic stability of our home state teeters on the edge.

Though I fully understand the government’s urge to keep residents safe, my heart hurts for those who will be effected by this pandemic for years to come. Everyone’s safety is important — health-wise, financially, emotionally, and mentally. As every week passes, it is amazing to me how divided my state grows… and how desperate people seem to be becoming. You could not pay me enough to be in our governor’s shoes right now.

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[Super Simple] Overnight Oats

Servings: 1

Time: 5 min (prep), 8+ hours (refrigerate)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Chobani Greek yogurt cup (any flavor)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients in a seal-able bowl. Mix well so oats and seeds are covered in yogurt.

  2. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Enjoy a quick, nutritious meal! Keeps in the fridge up to four days.