What does God think about you? THAT’s the truth…

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Hello friends!!  Let’s talk about…

What do you believe about yourself?  Who do you think you are?  What do you think people think about who you are?  Are you satisfied or disappointed with yourself?  How do you know if you’re believing the truth about yourself?  So.  Many.  Questions.

What you Believe about YOURSELF forms your identity.  This is one of the two most important things to evaluate how you are thinking.  The second is what you believe about and relate to God himself.  But today is about what you believe about YOU.  Everything you do, the ways you speak, behave, relate to others, opportunities you take, choices you make, are all IMMEDIATELY related to what you believe about yourself.

As an exercise, take some time and write down perhaps the things you’re believing about yourself that are not helping you accomplish greatness and the destiny God placed in you… anything that is a lie.  Satan is an accuser, he brings shame, he brings a sense of insufficiency, a sense of inadequacy and failure and incompetance.  Any place you feel this way, its very likely you’re believing a lie that was formed in hell.  It may have come through the mouth of someone you love, which is what makes it believable, but that doesn’t change, that if its not what God says about it, ITS NOT TRUTH.  People speak out of anger, out of hurt, out of disappointment, out of selfishness, and things spoken in these attitudes are not rooted in truth but in their own distorted version of you.  The best thing you can do is see what God says about you in the Bible.  Another thing I love to do is see what he says about me by simply asking.  He loves to tell us.  You can know its his voice when you see it is compatible with what Scripture says.  He will never contradict scripture.  But he loves to speak to his children, because he is a good, attentive Father.  Search yourself, and discover how amazing he has made you.  Dare to throw off the lies and live this year in the TRUTHS of who you are, and what the Loving God thinks about you.  🙂

Let me give you a spoiler: YOU .  ARE.  AMAZING!!  Ok.  Read on.  🙂

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(The following was borrowed from here.  )

Believe You Are Who God Says You Are

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“And we … are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)

“God is asking you to believe he is who he says he is, believe you are who he says you are, and then live like you believe those things.”

This week’s devotionals are by Buddy Owens, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and author of ‘The Way of a Worshiper’.

I want to help you learn to confess your faith, and then let that confession lead to life change so that it demolishes your old way of thinking and gives you a new way of thinking about life, God, yourself, hardship, your family and your world.

And here’s how to do it: Stop confessing lies. Confess your faith! Say the same thing God says about you. Let it change the way you think . . . and it will change the way you live.

Here are some things the Bible says about you that need to become things you say about yourself. Start every day by confessing these truths —

My Faith Confessions

  • I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)
  • The Son has set me free. I am free indeed! (John 8:36)
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
  • He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
  • There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
  • Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39)
  • In all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)
  • God is faithful. He will not let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • My light and momentary troubles are achieving for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
  • He is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within me. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • God is for me! Who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)

When you say what God says (confession), you begin to think what God thinks (repentance). So let this be your confession of faith. And let it be the foundation on which you build your new life.

This is not the power of positive thinking. It’s not your good thoughts that will turn your life around. God’s power will turn your life around. He’s just asking you to believe he is who he says he is, believe you are who he says you are, and then live like you believe those things.

Does that mean bad things will stop happening? No. But it does mean you will experience many more victories than losses because the Word of God is at work in you.

 

Here is another list of things God says about you.

I am God’s child.
Galatians 3:26

I am Jesus’ friend.
John 15:15

I am a whole new person with a whole new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a place where God’s Spirit lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19

I am God’s Incredible work of art.
Ephesians 2:10

I am totally and completely forgiven.
1 John 1:9

I am created In God’s likeness.
Ephesians 4:24

I am spiritually alive.
Ephesians 2:5

I am a citizen of Heaven.
Philippians 3:20

I am God’s messenger to the world.
Acts 1:8

I am God’s disciple-maker.
Matthew 28:19

I am the salt of the earth.
Matthew 5:13

I am the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

I am greatly loved.

 

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hCG Diet results! This has been amazing!

Wow.  After four kids, a momma just might have some baby-weight to lose!  Thankfully, mine was only about 30 lbs, but it was sure stubborn and not coming off!  In fact, the scale slowly climbed, and despite my best efforts, it was not budging.  I had prayed earlier this year, earnestly asking the Lord to help me and connect me to the resources to have success in this area of getting healthy again, and I stumbled across a little bottle of hCG diet drops at a Ross near me.  At first I thought it was excessive and ridiculous, but after doing a lot of research online, there was SO MUCH positive feedback, lasting results, and knowing it was designed by a doctor helped too, so I decided to try it.  And I am so thankful.  My pre-self wasn’t out of control, but I know me best, and I have always been lean and healthy and wanted to stay that way.  Now that you know the backstory,  want to know my results?  Here are the details:

The total diet lasted 40 days (about 6 weeks), and the transition out phases lasted a total of 6 weeks. So, here it is:

I went from 156.8 lbs, to 138.2 lbs.  That’s a total loss of nearly 19 lbs!!

And I lost… ready for this?  A whopping NINETEEN INCHES all over!!  I lost 3.5 inches in my hips, butt, and almost 3 inches in my waist!  I went from wearing a Large top to a Small top.  And I fit a bunch of my clothes that had gotten too small. 🙂  Here are the photos…

This was my first Before/After series

This was my first Before/After series

 

 

Its amazing to me the results I saw in such a short time!

Its amazing to me the results I saw in such a short time!

Before and After.  The "after" shot is just before finishing the diet.

Before and After. The “after” shot is just before finishing the diet.

Before and After.

Before and After.

Some of my new outfits in my new clothes. :)

Some of my new outfits in my new clothes. 🙂

I always wanted to wear a dress like this.  Now I can!

I always wanted to wear a dress like this. Now I can!

Super thankful.

Super thankful.

This jacket couldn't button before!

This jacket couldn’t button before!

 
 

These are the drops I used, found at Ross and Burlington, though they dont regularly carry them

 
Now, for anyone who hasn’t struggled to lose baby weight, it might be a little ridiculous for me to be so excited over 20 lbs, but this was a huge deal for me!  Technically, I still have ten to go, but I am celebrating this milestone!  I have literally prayed for 3.5 years for a breakthrough in getting the baby weight and the momentum of weight gain reversed.  The beautiful thing even beyond the actual weight loss?  That God cared enough to put the right tools in my hands.  Tools that were helpful, and nurtured healthy changes and education on what kind of foods are best for my body.  God totally cares about these things!  Why?  Because he LOVES.  And because he loves you, he cares about what you care about.  Ok, tangent over…

I learned so much on this diet!  Because of how it’s built I learned a lot of what kinds of foods to reach for that will fill me while benefit my weight and health goals.  Now, before you starting judging and think I ‘m crazy to have weight concerns over twenty or thirty pounds, please understand, I liked myself even at my heaviest, and I like myself now.  I’ve never hated myself. I have always believed in making the most of what you have to work with.  But I also believe in being the best (healthiest) version of ourselves as long as we can control it.  For me this wasn’t about becoming a supermodel or anything a magazine might promote.  Rather, it was about reaching a weight goal that I felt would be healthy for me.  Actually, after having my first baby and not really knowing how to relate to my I’m-a-woman-I’ve-birthed-babies body, I had asked the Lord what weight would be healthiest for my frame, muscle/bone makeup, lifestyle, etc.  I mean, he made me, he knows what’s best for me, wouldn’t he know the healthiest weight for me too?  And I kept coming to the same number (as un-round of a number as it was), and when I looked it up on the weight-range index, it was in a perfect spot in my healthy weight range for my height, and appropriate for my lean structural build.  So, that’s how I came to my goal weight.  For some that may seem a little over-spiritualized, but I’ve always felt, God knows best and so why not just ask him.  He loves being involved in those details of our lives. 🙂

 

So, starting today,  I’m actually on my second  and last round of the hCG diet, this time with two friends, to try to get the last 6-8 lbs off to reach my goal weight.  Then I’ll be able to start toning muscle a little bit, and have the happy satisfaction of knowing I’m taking the best care of this body that I can, while I can.  I want to live long, healthy and vibrant all my days.  Keeping my weight under control, eating healthy, exercising, detoxing a couple times a year, resting when needed, hydrating, all those are disciplines to be a good steward of this temple, this body.  I read a lot to keep my mind sharp, laugh a lot to keep me happy, and lots of other little disciplines that are healthy for longevity.  I hope this blog was encouraging to you, and if so, please leave a comment! I’d love to hear! As for now, I’ll see you with my next before/after post.  Stay tuned! 🙂   I wish you peace for the journey!

hCG Diet: Hot Cocoa, Apple Pie, and an Egg omelet!

If you are doing or are interested in doing the hCG diet, the food can feel limited quickly, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes with you thus far.  Here are three of my favorites so far…

HOT COCOA!!

  • 6-8 oz water in mug
  • 1 1/2 Tbs unsweetened Baking cocoa powder (Hersheys is awesome!)
  • Splash of Pure Vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1 Tbs Fat free half and half

Warm up your water first, then add everything.  Its not as rich and creamy as regular cocoa maybe, but on this diet, it still feels like a splurge!!  Enjoy the coziness!

APPLE PIE!!

  • Honey Crisp apple chopped (or two small Gala apples)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon powder
  • 2 spoonfuls baking Stevia, or use your liquid Stevia.
  • (Nutmeg, Ginger, Allspice are optional.  Use to taste. )
  • Splash of water

Coat the apple pieces well with the other ingredients.  Place in a covered bowl, microwave for 90 seconds, remove and enjoy.  Be careful as it is piping hot!  Enjoy your dellcious dessert!

Egg Omelet

This would be your whole meal in phase 2.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 grape tomatoes, halved (or 1 roma tomato, diced)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients, cook in your saute pan and enjoy this delicious omelet.  Here, the tomatoes serve as your fruit for the meal.  Eat up and Enjoy!

HCG diet journey… finally losing that post-baby weight! (Part 1)

Have you ever struggled with your weightloss like me?  For some its a struggle of 75+ pounds, for others, the last 20 that just won’t come off is equally frustrating.  For new (or seasoned) mommas, the babyweight is always a daunting chore.  Well, you are in good company!  Welcome to my post-baby-weight weightloss journey on the hCG diet!!!  This entry and a few entries following with be carefully following my weightloss journey with the HCG diet.  First, I am not aiming to lose astronomical amounts of weight.  Only about 20-25 lbs.  After having my fourth son almost four years ago, I was lazy during breastfeeding and did not work to get the baby weight off, and have struggled ever since to get back down to my pre-baby size.  I have tried a number of different approaches, all healthy options, but I don’t think I was motivated enough to do something strict.  Finally, it dawned on me, I have been whining and complaining about this struggle for nearly four years now, and have given a half-effort to about six different methods, and have seen no sustained progress.  Enough is enough!!  There is no excuse for whining.  If I have a goal, I will find a way to reach it.  So, as I was shopping last week I came across some HCG drops on sale and thought, “Hmm, these are cheap, I’ll just buy them, research and see if it’s worth trying.”  I got home, opened them up and read the diet plan and was like, “hah!  yeah right!” and put them away.  But as I did research and came across friends who had had great success on this diet, I saw that doctors were giving it the thumbs up (in fact it was designed by a doctor), and the food prescribed in the diet is very healthy, I thought, “Well, maybe I could just buckle down and work hard and see some results.”  So, that’s what I did.  I bought the necessary food, prayed for grace ;), and jumped in a week ago.  And I have been so excited by my results!  So excited in fact, I thought I’d share on here with ya’ll in case any of you have found yourself in a similar frustrating situation.  First, let me give you an overview of the diet.  (If you’re looking for a good book to really understand it, this cookbook is excellent.  It explains the diet AND gives you recipes.  Two for one!)

 

Below are my BEFORE photos… Check out Part 2 to see my Week 1 results!  Keep reading to see a summary of the diet.  

 

Phase 1: Loading phase.  Two days.  

  • Take HCG drops three times per day before meals; don’t drink or eat within 15 minutes of taking the drops so as not to dilute them in your system.
  • This phase is two days of eating as much FATTY foods as possible.  These fat stores help your body more gracefully adapt to the next phase which is the Very Low Calorie Diet phase (VLCD).  I didn’t take this phase very seriously and wish I would have.  My first three days, especially the third were tough.  Plus, who doesn’t like an excuse to eat every fatty food you ever wanted?  No food is off limits.

Phase 2: Very Low Calorie Diet with weightloss. Day 3-40

  • Again, you will be taking the HCG drops three times daily, not within 15 minutes of water or food.
  • This phase of the diet focuses on putting your body into Ketosis state, which is where your body is living off your own fat stores.  You can lose 1-2 lbs of fat per DAY.
  • The calorie goal these days is to stay within 500 calories.
  • On these days you typically skip breakfast but spend the morning drinking herbal teas, black coffee or water.  At least 32 Oz of liquids is your goal.  It is good to go the way of decaffeinated drinks so you don’t get jittery.  Lunch and Dinner is created from the selected foods in the lists below.
  • No exercising for these days.  Activity should be kept to a gentle stroll.  You need all the calories you are taking in!

Foods For The HCG Diet Phase 2

This is a list of foods you can eat while doing Phase 2 of the HCG Diet.
Use this list as a quick reference when shopping and preparing meals.

VEGETABLES
– Any kind of lettuce, spinach, beet greens, chard, cabbage
– Any kind of onions
– Any kind of tomatoes
– Fennel
– Cucumber
– Radishes
– Celery
– Asparagus


PROTEINS
Your meats/poultry cannot be cooked on the bone. All meats should be trimmed of all fat (and skin)
– White Fish
– Lobster
– Crab
– Shrimp
– Extra Lean Beef (steak, 96% premium lean ground beef, pot roast)
– Chicken


FRUIT


– Apples
– Blue Berries, Blackberries or Strawberries
– Lemons


DRINK & OTHERS
– Herbal Tea
– Bottled Water
– Melba Toast
– Sugarless Gum
– Steevia (natural sweetener, any flavor)
– Braggs Liquid Amino (this is a soy sauce type of product)
– Mustard
– Apple Cider Vinegar
– Any natural herb or spice, salt and pepper, garlic

Vegetables Portion Calories
Asparagus 4 ounces 20
Beet Greens 1 cup 25
Broccoli 4 ounces 30
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup 50
Raw Cabbage 1 cup 25
Raw Cauliflower 1 cup 30
Celery 1 stalk 5
Collard Greens 1 cup 25
Cucumber 8″ 15
Dandelion 4 ounces 50
Endive/Escarole 1 cup 10
Green Beans 4 ounces 40
Raw Kale 1 cup 40
Leeks 1/2 cup 16
Lettuce 1 cup 15
Romaine Lettuce 4 ounces 25
Green Onions 6 small 25
Raw White Onions 4 ounces 40
Green Sweet Peppers 1 medium 20
Red Sweet Peppers 1medium 25
Radishes 4 small 8
Spinach 1 cup 10
Squash/Zucchini 1 cup 40
Tomato 1 medium 20
Turnips 1 cup 55
Turnip Greens 1 cup 45
Watercress 4 ounces 25

Fruit Portion Calories
Apple 1 medium 80
Grapefruit 1/2 40
Strawberries 1 cup 55
Black Berries 1 cup 62
Blue Berries 1 cup 83
Lemon 1 medium 17

Phase 3: Stabilization phase.  3 Weeks.  CRUCIAL TO YOUR SUCCESS!!

  • The first three days of this phase you keep eating the VLCD but withOUT HCG drops so that you can give your body time to get the hormone out of your body before introducing new foods.
  • On the fourth day you can begin introducing new foods SLOWLY back into your diet.  The reason for this is because your body has trained itself to such limited calories and types of foods that to go back to regular eating straight away would shock your system and put the weight right back on.
  • In this phase you bring your caloric intake up to 800-1000 calories, gradually working your way up to 1500 calories.
  • Go to this page for a detailed food list.  http://www.hcgdietdrops.com/hcg-phase-3-other-food-list.html
  • This phase is characterized by three daily habits:
    • you must weigh yourself every day
    • you must remain within 2 pounds of your last injection weight (over *OR* under) and,
    • you cannot eat sugars and starches (which is carbohydrates minus the fiber)
  • Exercise: You can re-introduce exercise in this phase.  Your goal should be 30min-1 hour 3-4 times per week.
  • For more details on this phase, go here.
  • For success tips and menu samples, go here.

Phase 4: Maintenance phase. The rest of your life!

  • This phase you can bring your calorie intake up to 1800-2000.
  • In phase 4 when your weight has become consistent and stable you will start to re-introduce sugars and starches back into your diet. Starting off slow is always good. Don’t go binging!
  • To maintain your weight, you will have learned a lot of healthy alternatives, so use them in this phase!
  • For the first three weeks you are watching very carefully and very slowly working sugars, like chocolate or bread, into your diet.  But do only one per day to see how your body responds.  As your body gets used to this foreign object and learns how to metabolize it, you can settle into a nice little routine.
  • Use your natural sugar subsitutes and develop a habit of having a splurge meal only once or twice a week.  Be careful still though, as you can rack up on calories if you’re not mindful of how much is going in.
  • Focus eating still on fruits vegetables and proteins, and let grains and sugars be the smaller portions of your meals.  Keep sugar in moderation.

Links to help: 

Phases 3 & 4:

So that’s the overview of the diet.  The first few days are the most challenging, but as your body adapts, it will become much easier.  Let your thinking about food change WITH the food, so that after you’re done, you don’t return to old habits.

Below are my BEFORE photos… Check out Part 2 to see my Week 1 results!

 

 

No-bake Homemade Almond Joys!!

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Christmas season. Coconut. Chocolate. Nuts. These are synonymous to my tastebuds, if Christmas had a taste, that is. I found myself craving homemade almond joys and realized I had all the ingredients laying around in the kitchen so I decided to whip up a batch…Last night….
…They are already all gone. 😳
They were so good. 😋
It was so spontaneous, though, I forgot to take pictures of the making process, so you’ll just have to go by description. But I was able to get a few pictures of some of the last remaining little goodies. I hope you can enjoy these and enjoy them even more knowing that they are virtually healthy. Without any processed junk in them you can eat them guilt free! Happy non-baking!!

Ingredients:
-1 bag coconut flakes- 14oz?? (I had sweetened ones, use unsweetened to boost the health factor and cut sugar)
-3/4 cup Coconut oil
-1/4 cup Honey
-3/4 cup Raw Almonds
-Bag chocolate chips for dipping (depending how many balls you may need a little more than one bag)
-1 Tbsp canola oil

Directions:
1. Mix the flakes, coconut oil, honey and almonds in a bowl. (Note: if too wet, add more flakes. Too dry? Add a little more honey or oil. Honey will make it sweeter.)
2. Squeeze the mixture into small balls in your hands and set on a wax lined pan. Be sure you get at least one almond in each ball!
3. Set pan in freezer for ten minutes to let the oil/balls harden. This makes for successful dipping.
4. Put chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir. Heat for 20 seconds. Stir. Heat 15 more seconds if needed. Stir well. To keep it softer longer, add a tablespoon of canola oil. (Don’t use water!!! It freaks out the chocolate).
5. Dip the balls in the chocolate by letting them swim 3 or 4 at a time, roll them in it, lift out w a fork back to the lined pan.
6. Once finished, let them sit till they setup, which only takes a few minutes. Then, enjoy!!

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Cake-on-your-face mask!!

So really, who doesn’t need an awesome facial mask recipe that they can make w stuff from their kitchen cabinet, and it make their skin look fabulous?! I call mine, “cake-on-your-face” mask. It’s easy, and leaves your skin so glowy, and totally adaptable. Most of these ingredients are in some or many ways: anti fungal, anti microbial, anti viral, anti inflammatory, soothing, and toning.Take your pick! If used at night, add a little lemon juice for pore shrinking!! Leave it on as long as you like, I’ve done 20 min and 3 hours. Now go whip it up and enjoy!! Your face will thank you. 😘. You’re welcome!!

Recipe:
– A spoonful of coconut oil
– Equal parts of each from your spice cabinet :
1. Cocoa powder
2. Cinnamon
3. Baking soda
4. Ginger
5. Cloves
6. Nutmeg
7. Honey
8. Lemon juice (at night only. Can make skin more sensitive to sun if outdoors immediately after)
-Mix into a nice paste
-Apply to warm dampened face
-Allow to sit for 15-?? Minutes. Watch a movie! Or if you’re busy and must multi task, curl your hair!!
-To rinse: just wet your hands and dampen face to loosen it, then gently exfoliate, massaging face w fingertips in circular motions.
-Rinse clean, pat dry, and quickly follow with a hydrating layer of coconut oil to moisturize!!

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Healthy easy chocolate covered nuts!!

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So I was craving some chocolate covered nuts but am trying to eat clean, which means the ones at the store that come prepackaged are probably spiked with some artificial stuff here and there, or at least more than I’d like, so I decided to make my own.  I had this container of mixed nuts from Target, Peppermint essential oil (which I add to everything because its just AWESOME, though its not necessary), and a bag of Hershey’s dark chocolate chips.  Here’s what I did.  Quite simple.

1.  I only used about a third of the bag of chocolate chips, threw them in my smallest sauce pan, turned it to a  medium low heat and kept stirring until they were melted.  Once melted, turn off the burner and add a Tablespoon of canola oil.  This is where I also added about 4 drops of my peppermint oil.  Its perfect.

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2.  Then I simply tossed in the nuts and stirred them up till they were all well coated.  I don’t know how much I added, I just kept adding until the chocolate was sufficiently used up without much excess.  Sorry for the poor photo.

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3.  Then you just plop them out onto a pan which you lined with foil or parchment paper, spreading them out into a single layer to avoid chunking.  (unless you like chunks, then keep it chunky!)

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4.  I slid the pan into the top of my freezer for them to harden.  Then I pulled it out an hour or two later, pulled the chocolate nut pieces up and put them into a quart sized bag.  I sealed it, then banged it around on the counter a little to break it up and Voila!!  Homemade, healthy, flat belly diet approved, chocolate covered nuts!!

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Enjoy!!

Homemade Chocolate covered nuts

ingredients:

-raw nuts (1-2 cups)

-Dark chocolate chocolate chips (1/3 to 1/2 cup)

-Peppermint essential oil (optional)

-1 Tbsp Canola oil

Directions:

Melt the chocolate chips over medium low heat in a sauce pan, stirring continually.  Only takes a couple minutes.  Once completely melted, turn off heat, add 1 Tbsp Canola oil and 4 drops Peppermint essential oil if you’re adding that, and stir until blended.   This keeps the chocolate smooth and manageable.  Toss in the nuts, stirring to coat until all chocolate is used and all nuts are coated.  Add more nuts if needed.  Line a pan with parchment paper or foil, scoop out the nut mixture onto the pan, smoothing it out into a single layer.  For chocolate chunks, let it be all chunky, but for more individual nut pieces, make them as spread out as possible.  Set pan in your freezer for an hour or two, pull it out, remove the nut and chocolate pieces, put into a container or quart sized ziploc, break it up if desired, and store in fridge or freezer for a nice little treat!!  Enjoy!!