fasting, goals, Health and Wellness, Purpose, values

Delicious Zucchini Pasta

This has become one of our favorite dishes! Spiralized Zucchini Pasta

Since March, I have made a commitment to juice and eat more fruits and vegetables. My body was sick and I had no energy. I visited the website rebootwithjoe.com and started to “reboot” my system. I lost weight, my headaches disappeared and I’ve had more energy than I have had in years! As I prepared my body for juice fasting, I incorporated more plant-based meals into my diet. This zucchini pasta immediately became one of my favorites! My friend Christina asked for the recipe and this was her response….

That was amazing!!! Pretty sure it’s going to be a once a week meal. I could’ve eaten the whole pan and it was really good with chicken.”

There are many different vegetable spiralizers. For this I used the Oxo Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer. Purchase one here.
  1. First, spiralize the zucchini into noodles and set aside.
I used red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and spinach but feel free to use what you like!

2. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add fresh basil, oregano, mushrooms, chopped red pepper and spinach.

3. Add cherry tomatoes cut in half (optional) and spiralized zucchini noodles.

I added feta cheese (or I might have used goat cheese) because I love cheese! But if you are cutting out dairy, it’s still great without it.

4. Optional–Add feta, goat (or your favorite crumbly cheese 🙂

5. Add parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best 🙂

Enjoy! You could also add chicken, shrimp or veggie balls. Let me know if you try this and what you think!

Here’s the recipe again:

Ingredients: 1-2 zucchini (spiralized or shredded), 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1/2 cup red bell pepper, 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes (halved), handful of mushrooms, 1 1/2 to 2 t. each of fresh basil and oregano (chopped…you can also use italian seasoning but wow–the fresh basil and oregano is so fragrant and tasty!), 1-2 handfuls of spinach, salt and pepper to taste

  1. Spiralize or grate zucchini into “noodles”.
  2. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add fresh basil, oregano, mushrooms, chopped red pepper and spinach.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes cut in half (optional) and zucchini noodles. (Cook zucchini noodles until they are desired consistency. I prefer mine a little firm so I only sauté them for a few minutes but you may want them to be softer.)
  4. Add feta or goat cheese (optional)
  5. Add freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Education, faith, Forerunner, Health and Wellness, Prayer, Purpose, values

Going On a Prayer Walk

One of my favorite ways to connect with God is by taking a prayer walk, either alone or with a group. According to Rosalind Rinker, prayer is simply “a conversation between two people who love each other.” Enoch was said to have walked with God in Genesis 5 and since he didn’t die a traditional death, I can’t help but think of the possibility that he and his Maker had such an electrifying exchange one day that God said, “I can’t take the distance anymore! Come on up here, Enoch.” This is just my opinion of course, but I do know that when I have something on my mind or just want closer communion with God, I go for a walk. Here are a few of my favorite types of prayer walks which can be alone or with others. 

Our prayers lay the track down which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.”        

—Watchman Nee

Creation/Nature Prayer Walk

Many of the Psalms show how God speaks to us through nature, whether it be the bird who makes it’s nest near the altar (Psalm 84) or by the mountains that surround Jerusalem. (Psalm 125) Jesus uses farming and weather illustrations to teach lessons. After a prayer walk at Forerunner Christian Academy, one of my Bible class students may mention that upon seeing dandelions, they feel God is speaking to them about the “weeds” growing in their heart. Another may look at the same dandelions but feels God speaking a message to his heart about how the seeds blow in the wind and that when we share the Love of Christ it spreads all over. Walking by a rushing stream might cause you to think of how your mind is rushing and how you need to slow down. An eagle or falcon may remind you that you can soar above your problems and difficult circumstances.

One person may see dandelions and think about “weeds” growing in his heart while another sees the same dandelions and considers how the seeds blow in the wind like spreading the love of Christ.

Meditation or Devotional Prayer Walk

When I take my students on a devotional prayer walk, I have them highlight a passage in their Bible or write a verse on a notecard. This acts as an “anchor” to help them when they get distracted. As they notice their thoughts wandering to what’s for dinner or what their friend is doing, they can simply come back to the verse. They can whisper the verse or even ask Holy Spirit to open up deeper revelation or life application. One of my favorite verses to pray on a devotional prayer walk is….

Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me…”

—Psalms 25:4-5

Intercessory Prayer Walk

When I first moved to Kansas City and didn’t know any other parents at our school, I asked some mothers to join me after drop off at a nearby hiking trail. We shared personal requests and visited as we walked to the first “station” or stopping point. We gathered beside the path and prayed for the students, teachers and leadership of our school. Then we would walk in silence for awhile to another stopping point. At prayer stations, mothers could choose to pray aloud or simply stand in agreement. We saw so many wonderful things happen in our families and our school! 

Ask a group of people to join you on an intercessory prayer walk at a local trail. This trail is near our school and on Wednesday mornings after school drop-off, I met with other moms to walk and pray for our kids and school.

Family or Class Prayer Walk

I first started doing prayer walks with kids at Remnant House of Prayer in the summer camps and after school programs. We asked for prayer requests from the community and each week students would choose a prayer request card to pray over during the walk. I encouraged the kids to not only pray for the specific request, but to ask Holy Spirit and listen to what He might say. The request might be for healing but God may prompt you to pray for financial provision or healing of broken relationships. Elijah would always ask for the same prayer card, “Vanessa, can I pray for the girl with the headaches?” One of our partners had chronic migraines on an almost daily basis and God healed her completely!

Elijah asked every week for the same prayer request card. “I wanna pray for the girl with the headaches.” God healed her of chronic migraines! Use prayer request cards or index cards with Scripture to help kids stay focused.

Jericho Prayer Walk

One of the most memorable examples of prayer walking in the Scriptures happened when Joshua led the Israelites around the city of Jericho 7 times, then gave a loud shout. The walls that withheld blessing came down following their faithful prayer walk! I’ve heard of people doing a “Jericho March” prayer walk around a property or home. We have done prayer walks around polling centers on the night before an election. At Forerunner Christian Academy, my Bible classes do prayer walks around the school. It’s by far the most popular activity of every class. We walk slowly in silence about ten feet apart and share insights and revelations from the walk at the end. Then we often pray together in agreement.

Helpful Tips and Other Resources

  • Pray from Scripture. My favorite prayer list for intercession is the apostolic prayer list from the International House of Prayer.
  • Print out a map of your route. If you are going on a prayer walk around your city, print out a map with the route and mark the places you will stop and pray together with an “x”.
  • Prepare a list of prayer points.. For example, “at the city offices, stop and pray for wisdom and direction for city council members, chief of police, etc.”
  • Split groups into two’s or three’s. People are more likely to pray aloud in small groups. This works best if you have a ministry group praying over the city. For students, I tell them to keep a car’s length single file between each person so they can better focus on hearing Holy Spirit’s voice until we gather for group prayer at the end of walk.
  • Expect to “hear” God’s Voice! He may give you a vision or He may highlight a verse to you. You may “hear” a song or think of a person you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Take time to pray for that person and ask Holy Spirit if you should make contact or send a text, note or email.
  • Ask for a sign of God’s favor! (Psalm 86:17) He sends me butterflies and ladybugs, but once, a boy from RHOP asked God to see a turtle on our nature trail prayer walk. I’ll never forget the look on his face when we turned the corner and saw a lake with dozens if not hundreds of turtles all around the pond and on every log! It was his “sign”.
  • For more information on prayer walks, visit the prayerscapes.com
  • Wanna go on a longer pilgrimage prayer walk? Find out more about the Camino de Santiago here.
  • One of my favorite films about this pilgrimage is called “The Way” with Martin Sheen. Watch the trailer here.


faith, fasting, goals, Health and Wellness, values

My 60-Day Juicing Reboot

juice image by Astrid Smith

Why do a reboot?

I am on day 21 of a juicing “reboot”. In March, I got sick with a sinus infection, then ear infection, then bronchitis and multiple rounds of antibiotics seemed only to make me feel worse. Lab tests revealed I was low in iron and vitamin D, and an ultrasound showed cysts on my ovaries that were causing pain in my stomach. I was often exhausted and no matter how early I went to bed, I felt I could not sleep enough. After I slept for nearly 20 hours straight one weekend, Jeff said, “There has to be something wrong.”

How did I get here?

In 2010 I had a partial thyroidectomy after discovering a nodule and before that, I never realized how many things the thyroid affects. It produces hormones that affects your body’s energy and metabolism. An under-active thyroid can affect many different systems in the body, including the mind. I used to work as a sign language interpreter in the mental health field and was startled to walk by a poster one day that said problems with the thyroid are often similar to and confused with many bipolar symptoms! Since that surgery, my health has not been the same and though I take medication, I know that I can improve my diet.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

I remembered watching the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” several years ago and was struck how a juicing fast helped a guy named Joe Cross to heal from a debilitating auto-immune disease. I looked up his website and found some great resources and an online community. I ordered his books with lots of recipes and connected with others who were juicing to regain their health. After much prayer, I decided to start on March 30, 2019.

I found amazing juice recipes and help with my reboot at https://www.rebootwithjoe.com
You can also watch his documentaries that inspired me.


Reboot = To Restart by loading the operating system; boot again; to produce a distinctly new version of; to make a change in (something) in order to establish a new beginning.

Prepare Your Body Before Juice Fasting

I started with a Daniel-type fast, eating fruits and vegetables and cutting out meat, bread and dairy. Some of my favorite dishes to make during this time of preparing my body included sweet potato and carrot fries (tossed with cumin and olive oil and roasted at 425 degrees), Caprese salad made with avocados, olive oil, basil and tomatoes, spaghetti squash and acorn squash stuffed with garlic, onion and mushrooms.

One of my favorite dishes during the week I prepared my body for juice fasting
Roasted acorn squash stuffed with onions, garlic and Bella mushrooms.
Uhhhhh….. Yes, I know. I WAY overdid it on the onions!

Why Do We Feel So Bad?

The standard American diet is literally killing us. It’s so convenient to pick up fast food and because my dad was a basketball coach, we were accustomed to eating out often when I was growing up. My physical activity (basketball) helped to keep my weight under control, but since the thyroid surgery, I have constantly struggled with my health. We no longer eat out as often, but our diet still includes far too many carbs and not nearly enough fruits and vegetables. I am determined during this reboot to learn new recipes and try new things. I recognize that I won’t like everything. Case in point…..

I was trying to make quinoa with almond milk and berries. As you can see, it was a huge “fail”. I apparently did not cook the quinoa right. It was like eating birdseed.

Benefits of Juice Fasting

The idea behind juice fasting is to give your body and organs a complete rest, which allows them to “reboot” or reset while you flood your system with micronutrients in the fresh pressed juices. It gives your body a chance to get used to fruits and vegetables and when you are done with the reboot, you will even crave healthier foods! Anyone can benefit from a 3-day, 5-day or 10-day reboot but because my body is so toxic and unhealthy right now, I know I have to do something drastic, so I’m doing a 60-day Reboot. I am now on just juices (4-6 per day) and am feeling great! I have more energy that I have had in years, my skin is clear and my headaches are gone. I’ve lost 18 pounds which is great, but my main goal is to restore my body to health. I will continue to post progress and insights throughout the reboot. Let me know if you’ve ever done a juice fast or reboot before and if you have suggestions or tips. With love and much HOPE….

\m/,–Vanessa