Pieces of Me

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We aren't sending out too many Christmas Cards this year.  We just don't have the extra funds to share this beautiful card with everyone, so we are sending a few out to our out of town family and friends.  And for everyone else, we can share it this way.  Merry Christmas everyone.  We love you all. 
Silent Holy Night Religious Christmas Card
Custom Christmas cards are always available at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beautiful Things

I have been really angry lately. Angry at my heavenly Father. I am still really angry. I’ve never experienced being genuinely angry with God. Ever. Not during what I believe were some of the worst times in my life – miscarriage, stillbirth, death of loved ones, disasters happening around me. I’ve never once gotten angry with the Lord. Not like I am right now.

I’ve said to many recently, I am so thankful for His grace and love because right now, my faith and trust in Him are so small. Tiny. I almost feel like a new Christian.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt the love of my Father. I don’t doubt my love for Him.

But this anger is eating away inside of me. Anger and disappointment. I really feel like the Lord failed those I love deeply. Failed as a Father. A heavenly Father.

Forgiveness is not an option right now. Not at the situation. I really don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive.

Understanding is never going to happen. I will never understand why this has happened and how it could have happened at all. I am to the point now where I realize I have to stop trying to understand because it only makes me more angry.

Acceptance. At some point, there will be acceptance, but I don’t have to be happy with that.

Regardless of my anger, we have still be attended the Gathering on Sunday Mornings at the Well to worship with those who love me and will continue to love me regardless of how angry I am. Again, my feelings are valid.

Mary, dear, beautiful, sweet Mary, chose this song to be sung on Sunday. I’ve heard it before. I’ve sang it before, but I really experienced this song - listened to the lyrics, and felt in my heart that everything will one day be okay.  Is it okay now?  Not really?  Is that okay?  I can live with it.

But most importantly, the ones I love who are experiencing even more gut-wrenching than mine?  They are beautiful.  In spite of everything.  They are beautiful.  And being made new.
        All this pain
        I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
        I wonder if my life could really change at all

       Out of chaos life is being found in You

       You make beautiful things

       You make beautiful things out of the dust
       You make beautiful things
       You make beautiful things out of us

      You make me new, You are making me new
     You make me new, You are making me new

It's not going to be easy.  It's not going to come quickly.  Healing has to happen.  Healing has to take place.  Trust has to be rebuilt.  Yes, even the trust I have in my heavenly Father.

But I am made new. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Food Critic–Daiya

I was talking to a friend about how my little boy loves Mac and Cheese.  He was very sad to see that I am not stocking our pantry with Annie’s Gluten Free Mac and Cheese.  Although this was never a staple in our home, we did eat it on occasion (once a month).  And it made for a quick and easy dish to send to school with him during the school year.  Kelly posted this about Mac and Cheese on her blog and although I told her we don’t eat Kraft, she reminded me that the stuff in Annie’s is still just as processed.  And she’s right.  Since I am giving up dairy, I don’t keep a lot of cheese in our home and I was looking for a dairy alternative to cheese that did not include soy to make with the Quinoa noodles I found by Andean Dream.  I know, not 100% Paleo, but in all the reading I’ve been doing lately, many suggest with the kids to move to Gluten Free first and then slowly move to completely grain free.  It’s a process.  I don’t want them fighting me tooth and nail regarding food – you read my last post right?

Anyway, she suggested maybe trying Daiya – something she had read about.  So since we were shopping at Whole Foods, I checked it out.  After all, it claims to be Cholesterol free, Trans Fat free, Dairy free, Vegan, free of all animal products, Kosher Pareve, Free of common allergens including: Dairy (casein & lactose), soy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts (excluding coconut).  Before purchasing, I did check out the list of ingredients and although there is one ingredient that bothers me (mainly because it’s claiming all of the above), I went ahead and bought it. 


I bought the Cheddar Style Wedge.  It claims to be great melted or sliced.  I got home and sliced a tiny sliver to taste.  And let me tell you – gross.  It’s like eating Velveeta or cheese food.  I don’t know what I expected.  I think I just really wanted a slice of cheddar cheese.  LOL

I told this to Kelly but mentioned that I would still try to use it in Mac and Cheese.  And that’s what I did.  I made Mac and Cheese with the daiya and butter <—well margarine, which is not good either, but we are trying to use up what we have that is already opened.  I cleaned out the pantry and gave my mother-in-law tons of Whole Wheat Pasta and canned soups. 

I digress.  The Mac and Cheese was exactly what Cayden wanted.  He loved it.  Hannah enjoyed it, and yes, even I dug it. Smile 

Now – here is my confusion/issue – this product claims to be soy-free, but it contains canola oil.  Canola oil is a mixture of CORN and SOYBEAN OIL meaning that it contains soy.  I’m a little confused and am planning on contacting the manufacturer to get some answers – just to clear up any confusion. 

Regardless, it tastes just like mac and cheese from a box (which I can’t decide if that’s a good or a bad thing LOL). 

Here are the ingredients for you to check out for yourself.  Looks pretty processed to me, but it’s not containing any artificial coloring.

Filtered water, tapioca flour, palm fruit oil, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and/or pressed safflower oil, pea protein, coconut oil, salt, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, vegan natural flavours, gum arabic, lactic acid (vegan, for flavor), annatto, titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral), natural smoke flavour, vegan enzyme.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wheat-less Dinner–FAIL

Well, I decided to make a very simple for my children and husband this evening.  Paleo Spaghetti from 21 Powerful Paleo Dinner Recipes which was at one time a free Kindle book on Amazon. 

I thought it was amazing.  My kids – not so much.  Ingredients included 1 lbs of grass-fed local ground beef, leeks (diced), an onion (diced), a red bell pepper, a can of artichoke hearts (chopped), coconut oil and zucchini (sliced like noodles).  I guess I fail in the slicing department because my children both laughed in my face when I told them it was spaghetti.

I made a sauce out of roasted red peppers, plain coconut yogurt, garlic, and fresh rosemary. 

I tell you, I thought it was amazing.  So yummy, I could taste every flavor.  I knew the kids probably wouldn’t care for the artichokes, but I never thought they would outright refuse to eat it.

I even tried to play the game my friend, Kelly, recommended in her post “Ewww Mom!”  Nope, my kids weren’t buying it.  They said, “ooh I found a zucchini – gross!” or “it’s an onion (which is wasn’t) -I’m not eating that.”  Hannah was convinced an artichoke was an onion for about 15 minutes.  But she tried to eat it – and apparently it was horrible.  Cayden found a red pepper.  He put it in his mouth, made himself gag, looked at me with tears in his eyes, and waited.  My response was “chew.”  After he chewed it, he said, “Oh Hannah, you should try that, it was good.”  So – there’s a win!  But he wouldn’t eat anymore of them.  Oh well, they didn’t even want to eat the meat so I don’t know what was going on there, but I did tell them that when they got hungry later with Grandma, the “spaghetti” was waiting for them in the refrigerator. 

Tomorrow we are having stuffed zucchini with eggplant.  That should be interesting.  LOL

I listened to an amazing Podcast by  the Paleo Parents and the Paleo Mom today – it was all about kiddos, school and lunches.  I appreciated it so much and am looking forward to more podcasts from them Smile.  You can catch it here.

Book Review–Wheat Belly by William Davis

I don’t know if I would really call this a book review.  I guess I just don’t know how to define book review.  I read this book – and here are some of my thoughts and findings.  I think everyone should read this – if they want to learn about today’s wheat and how the government has changed it over the past 30 years. 

“Eliminating wheat may be inconvenient, but it is certainly not unhealthy.” – Wheat Belly by William Davis

Okay, last week I finished reading Wheat Belly by William Davis.  I am amazed at the amount of information I learned from this book.  I read it cover to cover – taking time to reread things that flew over my head.  I love to read, but when reading information and statistics, I get a little bit lost. 

I think this is an excellent resource.  I really believe the information is valuable.  Throughout my reading it, I would take screen shots of sections with my phone and text them to people whom I thought would find the information valuable.  Some people did not like this, but one person, whom I am shocked to admit is my husband, was fascinated by the information I sent him.

Let’s start out by saying that the wheat of today is not the wheat from 100 years ago.  It’s not the wheat from 50 years ago (or my parents’ childhood).  Heck, it’s not even the wheat from when I was a little girl.  Wheat today is actually a hybrid version of the wheat that our ancestors relied on as a food source. 

First of all, it ain’t wheat. It’s the product of 40 years of genetics research aimed at increasing yield-per-acre. The result is a genetically-unique plant that stands 2 feet tall, not the 4 1/2-foot tall “amber waves of grain” we all remember. The genetic distance modern wheat has drifted exceeds the difference between chimpanzees and humans. If you caught your son dating a chimpanzee, could you tell the difference? Of course you can! What a difference 1% can make. But that’s more than modern wheat is removed from its ancestors. (http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/07/wheat-belly-frequently-asked-questions/)

The first thing I was shocked to learn about today’s wheat is that “eating two slices of whole wheat bread can increase your blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar cane” Wheat Belly by William Davis – back cover.   This fact appalls me.  It also explains why people who are diabetic and who cut out sugar and increase their “whole grain” intake are overweight and continue to be overweight regardless of what they do to their diet.  The other information amazes me as well.  My husband struggles with his weight.  He has since right before we got married.  We switched everything we eat to “whole wheat” early in our marriage because we have been taught that as long as we are eating “whole wheat” we are healthy and would lose weight and prevent a ton of illnesses.  Even in doing so, I noticed that Stephen is always eating late at night.  He isn’t eating “bad” foods.  He makes a few pieces of toast, has an apple with peanut butter, counts out a serving of chips, etc.  But he can’t seem to conquer his night time cravings and there for suffers from acid reflux and excessive snoring amongst a few other “issues” he has.  Wheat Belly addresses this and suggests to remove wheat from your diet for 6 weeks.  Stephen is on board so this week – now that the craziness of the month is over – I am on a mission to create a wheat free menu for the next six weeks for our family.  I am eager to see what happens.

All in all, I think the idea of removing wheat is a good one.  Of course, people are wondering what will we eat.  This is what we will enjoy - real, natural foods such as eggs, raw nuts, plenty of vegetables, and fish, fowl, and meats. I am able to use healthy oils – olive and coconut liberally.

I’ve been trying to live a Paleo lifestyle, and it hasn’t been the easiest thing to do.  So I have had my fair share of “gluten free” foods.  I don’t buy gluten-free processed foods, but when I go out to eat, if there is a “gluten free” option, I usually try it.  It is important to remember – and Wheat Belly points out that “Gluten Free” processed foods are just that – they are processed foods.  Don’t fall for the “GF” label – if it comes in a box and is labeled GF, it is still processed foods that contain ingredients that you cannot pronounce and more than likely has corn syrup and sugar in it.  Taking wheat out of your diet and replacing it with processed foods is not going to make you “all better.”  Taking wheat out of your diet and replacing it with beautiful, whole fruits and veggies and meats and eggs will make a huge difference. 

Now the only thing about the book that I found really interesting and a bit off the top is that the author starts off with “Remove wheat from your diet – it is the worst of the worst carbohydrates.  But other carbohydrates can also be problem sources, as well as . . .” (Wheat Belly, Davis 204).    Then he goes on to say “don’t replace wheat with GF foods from the store.”  After that, he goes a little over the top in my opinion – and I understand why because he’s trying to prevent diabetes, but he closes with “If you wish to roll back the appetite-stimulating, insulin distorting, and small LDL—triggering effects of foods beyond wheat , or if substantial weight loss is among your health goals, then you should consider reducing or eliminating the following foods in addition to wheat…” (Wheat Belly, Davis 204).  Are you ready??

Cornstarch, corn meal, all snack foods, desserts, rice, potatoes, legumes, fruit juice and soft drinks, dried fruit and other grains as well as FRUIT.

Yep – he suggests eliminating all the above foods (and that means foods that contain those foods) and then gives you the suggestion of eating meats, raw nuts, good oils, dairy (LOTS OF DAIRY) and veggies. And only some fruits – berries are the fruits that Davis recommends you consuming avoiding bananas, mangoes, papayas and pineapple should be limited if not eliminated from your diet because of sugar content.

I do think that eliminating wheat from anyone’s diet, especially someone who has an addiction to it like my husband would benefit from it.  The gut issues described in this book – celiac, ulcerative colitis – the weird ailments that are caused from wheat – insomnia, certain ADD/ADHD/Autism diagnosis – and even the fact that “whole wheat” is a leading contributor to diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes.  The effects of wheat have been show in study after study. 

I also fully believe that there is a cycle of hunger after eating wheat which is why one much eat so much throughout the day.  The first thing I noticed when removing wheat and grains from my diet is that I wasn’t hungry:

Recall that people who are wheat-free consume, on average, 400 calories less per day and are not driven by the 90-120 minute cycle of hunger that is common to wheat. It means you eat when you are hungry and you eat less. It means a breakfast of 3 eggs with green peppers and sundried tomatoes, olive oil, and mozzarella cheese for breakfast at 7 am and you’re not hungry until 1 pm. That’s an entirely different experience than the shredded wheat cereal in skim milk at 7 am, hungry for a snack at 9 am, hungry again at 11 am, counting the minutes until lunch. Eat lunch at noon, sleepy by 2 pm, etc. All of this goes away by banning wheat from the diet, provided the lost calories are replaced with real healthy foods.  (http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/press-media/faqs/)

Reading this book has taught me, just like searching my bible for answer regarding certain topics that everyone much do the research themselves.  You cannot rely on information you were given as a child because your parents, church, friends offered it to you.  You have to discover things on your own, and have your own conviction based on your own findings.  Because if you don’t, you may end up being unhealthy and unhappy because you never thought to find out for yourself.

An Explanation for my Absence

When I began this Whole 30 adventure at the beginning of the month, I completely forgot about an important event that would take place during the 2nd full week of August.  Not that this is an excuse for my absence, it is most certainly an explanation for it as well as an explanation for my eating habits.  Last week, I ate 50% of the time on the run – spending time with someone I love dearly – and enduring one of the most difficult things I will ever experience in my life.

Something terrible happened two years ago to a little girl whom I love as my own.  She is my niece by friendship.  The things that happened to her should never happen to anyone – ever – and the outcome of this is completely unacceptable. 

I spent two days this week supporting this sweet girl and her mother while they appeared in court to face the person who did this to her.  Needless to say, the trial was exhausting and time consuming.  Over 12 hours at the courthouse over the course of two days meant meals on the run and, in reality, eating whatever we could find close by. 

I’m sad to say that this person was found not guilty of his actions, and we are all heartbroken.  The last few days of the week were just a time to process and begin to heal – understanding is just not going to happen, but healing and acceptance must take place. 

My faith is shaken.  I am hurting and angry.  It is going to take time to process it all.  I will continue to question my heavenly Father and make Him aware of my feelings.  I’m really not okay with this outcome.  I can’t change it, but I can be angry.  It’s okay.  And I know He loves me and gives me grace.  I know that.  I don’t necessarily want to hear about it from others.  This is going to take time.  I pray others will also give me grace – use His love as an example and just let me be.  Let me be angry; let me be hurt; let me heal.

Anyway, my Whole 30 experience ended 2 weeks sooner than it should have, but the lessons I learned about my body and how I process things is amazing.  I’ve always known I’m a stress eater.  I don’t know how to get rid of this habit that I fall into.  It’s quite crazy to me, but I’m still trying to understand why I do it.  Regardless, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. My time spend with these two people is so much more important that reevaluating my eating habits.  I know where I make mistakes, and I really believe that is the most important lesson in all of this.  I can change my eating habits, continue to make mistakes, and continue to try and “fix” things.  I can continue to make improvement to my lifestyle and my family’s health. 

I cannot change what happened to this little girl or the outcome of it all.  But I can continue to love her and her mother and be there for them while they begin to heal.  And if that means eating a piece of chocolate – well be it.

Edited to add – Forgiveness for me right now is not an option.  I’m thankful no one has asked that question of me.  It’s not happening.  Probably not ever.  This is where having faith gets tricky – there are some that will tell me one sin will separate me from His love forever.  So my faith in Christ is on a thin line right now?  I really don’t know.  Technically, not forgiving is a sin.  And for this – I’m thankful for His grace and mercy.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 16

Today was okay.  I had a good start - Grain Free Granola and water :)

Lunch was Rotissure Chicken from Whole Foods, a whole Zucchini, and an Asian Pear.  I bought some Apple Gate Farms Ham and Turkey Breast to make "Roll Ups" for lunches this week (to get the kids into the "This is what will be in you lunch boxes 90% of the time along with lots of fun veggies" groove.  I also picked up some Daiya to check it out.  Here are the ingredients: Filtered water, tapioca flour, palm fruit oil, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and/or pressed safflower oil, pea protein, coconut oil, salt, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, vegan natural flavours, gum arabic, lactic acid (vegan, for flavor), annatto, titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral), natural smoke flavour, vegan enzyme.

I'm a little sad about the canola oil, but if I can make a Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese with this, my son will be in heaven, and all the world's dairy issues will be solved.  LOL.  That and pizza.  I've found the grain free crust.  Now it's all about giving it a try.

Dinner was not at all Whole 30.  We went to Frank and Angie's for pizza and although I thought I had done my research and that they served a Gluten-Free Pizza, I was wrong.  So I opted for a cheese free pizza and brought home 1/2 of it (loaded with veggies).   I did get the personal size.  Anyway, I'm a little bummed, but it's okay.  I also ate a dinner salad beforehand so all in all I did a good job.  In was in celebration of this lovely lady - Happy 29th Birthday, Morgan!!

I'm super sleepy now and have a crazy day ahead of me tomorrow.  I am not posting details, but prayers are needed, and a lot of them.  Just pray for peace and that everything is revealed and justice is served.

Tomorrow and here on out until the end of the month - Whole 30 100%.

Oh - and if you haven't already, go and check out my friend, Kelly's, blog, Nutty Alternatives, and like it on Facebook.  In doing so you could win a prize :)

Whole 30–Days 14 & 15

This weekend is a blur.  I honestly cannot remember what we ate.  Oh, we did celebrate a friend’s birthday with custard on Sunday evening.  Happy Birthday, Mr. Lee.  We love you so much and are so blessed to have your in our lives.


I’m certain my weekend was NOT 100% whole 30 although I did make a conscious effort.  I’m 1/2 way there and am going to be 100% this 2nd half <—except for tonight – we are celebrating another friend’s birthday and going to Frank and Angie’s (BUT – I will be having a Gluten Free/Cheese Free pizza so I’d say that’s fairly close).   I’m just proud of myself for being honest on the blog.  Hold me accountable, yell at me, scold me, whatever. . . I’m keeping myself in check and admitting it publicly.

We went to the Farmer’s Market in the morning on Saturday and got a ton of fresh and local produce and beef/chicken. 

I spent some one on one time with Cayden at Cabela’s.  I bought him his first pop gun and he went on a “hunt” throughout the store. He had a blast and is so freaking cute!


Sunday we had worship in the morning and a play date in the afternoon.  I smashed my toe during nursery and have a feeling I’ll be losing my big toe nail sometime this week.  My goal for starting to exercise in the mornings has been put off a few days.  I’m a wimp.  It hurts.  A lot.  I didn’t eat much on Sunday.  It hurts that much Sad smile

I did get to see a sweet friend whom I am beginning to consider a close friend and talk food/life changes.  She lent me some books.  I’m looking forward to reading them.  As soon as I finish Wheat Belly.  I’m finally to the good stuff. Smile

Friday, August 10, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 13 (Mobile Blog)

Today we played quite a bit of catch up. Kids slept in. We still haven't been to the grocery store. But tomorrow morning we go to the farmer's market. I'm looking forward getting some fresh fruits and veggies - mainly veggies, but I'll take whatever local fruit I can find.

Anyway, the kids and I slept through breakfast. And then discovered my keys were inside the van. We couldn't go anywhere to get food so we patiently waited for Grandpa to bring us Stephen's keys. Then we loaded up and went to have lunch with my girlhood best friend, or Aunt Crystal, as my children know her. We don't see each other as often as we should, but I love her dearly and hope to change that situation into a more consistent time together.

I enjoyed a Hippie Chop Salad for lunch. It had grilled chicken, avocado, tomatoes, tons of greens and some blue cheese and eggs. I allowed myself to have the cheese and enjoyed our visit.

We came home, and the kids napped. They are so tired from our fun trip. I continued to read Wheat Belly and came across to much information regarding common illnesses and their relationship with wheat. Wow. I snapped photos of this information and shared it with some loved ones. I'm not claiming that wheat elimination is going to solve everyone's problems, but I am convinced that it should be tried if there is evidence of doing so eliminating symptoms. I sent Stephen the sections on reflux and nighttime cravings. He is 100% on board with trying this. My heart is full. He is plagued with these symptoms and very much has a "wheat belly." So do I. But I'm determined to change that. Not by eliminating wheat and replacing it with other foods that are wheat free but still packaged. I'm talking replacing wheat with other grains and seeds, fresh fruits and veggies. I don't want to give a review of the book yet, but I totally see (and this is from my experience) If you eliminate the wheat (which I have done) you only eat when your body is truly needing nourishment proving that when you eat well, there isn't a need for so many snacks throughout the day. You're eating for nourishment, not to satisfy a craving. Therefore, it's really not going to cost more to eat well, because you're eating less often. I know from experience. Our grocery budget had increased slightly, but our eating out budget had decreased to nearly nonexistent (it had - this week is a different story).

Anyway, that's it. I had some grilled veggies and grilled chicken for dinner.

Good to be feeling better. And even with my trip, I was in a pair of pants comfortably today that I haven't worn in years. Every little step is a huge!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

No 30–Day 12

Today is a complete blur.  Just a tough day – I’m tired, sleeping with my children is never fun – and my boy talks in his sleep.  I’m not at home, away from my husband.  We spent the entire day at a water park yesterday and then took the kids to the mall.  I think we are officially crazy.
We got up and had breakfast – I ate some leftover Egg Pie.  We spent the morning chatting, packing, and getting ready to leave.  We stayed around for lunch.  Everyone but myself had a baked potato.  I had a salad and some venison sausage.  Stayed on track. 
We loaded up about noon and headed out.  We stopped at Starbucks for a pick me up (I’m ready to get back home and sleeping) and were off. 
We drove until we needed gas.  We made it all the way to Belton.  We gassed up, took a potty break and got some snacks.  By this point in our trip, I am so exhausted that *I* need something to wake me up.  What comes to my mind?  SUGAR!  Since I can’t tolerate corn (and trying to travel is even crazier thought) I found a Throw Back Pepsi.  And a mini pecan pie.  The kids actually chose Belly Washers (which isn’t the best thing, but it’s better than soda) and each a little treat – C chose a cherry pie and H choose Reese’s Minis.  We loaded back up and headed home.  I knew I was going to crash, but I really need the sugar high to get me home.  It worked.  We made it home (took the Toll from Round Rock to 71) and even missed traffic.  As soon as we got home,  I crashed.  I could feel it coming.  But I didn’t have a choice.  A dear friend’s mom passed away suddenly this week, and I offered to help her in any way I could once I was home so I loaded the kids back up, and we went to her house to babysit the little ones while everyone attended the visitation, etc.  I don’t regret helping, but I do regret feeding myself and my children.  Life goes on, but it is the gentle reminder that I have to plan.
Stephen ended up bringing us CFA – a had 1/2 a chicken salad sandwich and an Arnold Palmer to drink. 
We were home between 10:00 and 10:30 pm.  All exhausted. 
Tomorrow will be a better day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Whole 30–Day 11 (with the exception of some cotton candy) and Happy Birthday, Hannah!

Still on vacation!  Spending time with my beautiful sister-in-law and my awesome nephews as well as dinner times with Roger Smile.  It has been a good trip.
This morning, I woke up and was able to eat some Kale, Olive and Turkey Bacon egg pie that my SIL made for breakfast.  This made my heart so happy.
We loaded up and went to Hawaiian Falls Water Park.  Today is Hannah’s 9th Birthday.   She couldn’t think of a better way to spend her day.  We had loads of fun – minus a bee sting on the girl’s upper arm.  That didn’t deter her from a thing.  In fact, she didn’t even tell me about it until the next day.  She has a pretty huge welt on her arm and it’s itching, but the nurse at the allergist office said just to treat with Zyrtec and watch for spreading.  Lunch was Sweet Potato chips by Food Should Taste Good and Nitrate Free Chicken Breast from the deli, along with cucumbers and baby carrots.  Oh, and some cotton candy.  I know, shame, shame Winking smile
Anyway, Bekah and I went shopping at Sprouts yesterday.  I showed her some tricks of shopping, including buying in bulk and buying your Coconut Oil from the Grocery Department and not the Health/Vitamin Section.  This can save you anywhere from $1-5 depending on what you’re buying.  I also introduced her to Enjoy Life Gluten Free Chocolate Chips (as well as soy, casein, etc. free).
We picked up ingredients for the Meatloaf Muffins that Hannah loves so much and some ingredients for the cupcakes.  I substituted Free Range Turkey over the Ground Pork and bought local grass-fed beef.  Although Food, Inc. changed my opinion on beef and pork, it’s more the pork that I am staying away from.  As long as I know the beef is grown locally and is 100% grass fed, I’m okay with cooking and eating it. 
I made the meatloaf muffins (with added spinach at the request of my daughter) and a nice salad for dinner.  Dessert was Paleo Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting in honor of Hannah’s 9th Birthday.  Everyone loved them, and they are Gluten Free so even Tyler could enjoy them.
Overall a wonderful day with the extended family.  We were missing Stephen, though. 
Words cannot express how incredibly blessed I am to have been given such an amazing gift from the Lord. Given a heart for Jesus and a compassionate soul, the Lord chose me to be Mommy to my sweet Hannah Girl. And I thank Him every day.

Announcement5Days2 Hannah_002

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Half 30? Day 10

 What happened to Day 9?  You don't even want to know.  To be honest with you, I cannot remember that far back in time :)

Well, we hit the road and traveled to Grand Prairie, Texas for a few days.  Hannah wanted to celebrate her birthday with all her cousins, and since two of them live out of town, we decide to take a quick trip to visit them. 
Breakfast was not Whole 30 at all.  Stephen and I held off going to the grocery story so we had absolutely no food in the house.  We got up, grabbed Chick Fil A for breakfast (yes, even me Sad smile ) and a Starbucks Cool Lime Refresher and hit the road. 
Thankfully, that was our only meal out for the trip Smile.  I’m very happy about this.   Cayden had to go to the bathroom around Belton so we stopped and then hit the road again.
I packed drinks and snacks for the road.  We got to Grand Prairie by 1:30 and had a great visit.  Hannah requested Meatloaf Muffins for her birthday dinner, and since we had a full day planned on her actually birthday, I whipped up the muffins that afternoon.  We ate meatloaf muffins and salad for dinner Tuesday and Wednesday evening.  Soo good.
We did take a trip to Peach Berry Frozen Yogurt when I got a teeny tiny bowl of cheesecake yogurt with two brownie chunks on top. 
Overall, this day went really well.  I didn’t give up or get angry because I fell off the “wagon” per say.  I just know that I’m not perfect, and it’s okay Smile.

I am plugging along reading Wheat Belly.  Lots of technical language that puts me to sleep, but I am almost to the "Part 2" section which I think should pick up and be way more interesting (although I have learned a ton about today's wheat).

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Whole 30–Day 8

Crazy day for me.  Got up, made eggs with a whole zucchini and some coconut oil.  Glad I did it because my day got so hectic that all I ate were the brownies and ice cream I made until dinner time.
We celebrated Hannah’s birthday on Sunday.  Her birthday isn’t until Wednesday, but she really wanted to have a birthday party at Deep Eddy Pool so we went ahead and celebrated with family and friends early.  It was amazing.  The most low key and inexpensive gathering we have ever hosted, AND she has decided this is what she wants to do from here on out, so I’m hoping that her birthday parties will be like this all the time.
Worshipped at the Well with our faith family.  If you don’t have a church home, and you aren’t looking for a traditional place to worship, you should join us.  These people really are my family.  Nearly every one of them.  I just love and adore them.  They love my family.  They love my kids.  They love me.  They encourage me to live my life more like Jesus EVERY DAY.  Amazing people.  Seriously.  We’d love to have you.
Worship went a little long due to an amazing baptism story.  I was with the nursery kiddos so I missed all of it, but when your pastor is a professor teaching NT at Concordia and one of his students meets and begins to LOVE Jesus during a college class, you know amazing things are going happen.  So not just one young man, but this young man and his brother were both baptized in Christ yesterday. 
We headed home, grabbed Taco Bell for the kids and Stephen and were originally going to grab Chipotle for me, but loading up started to take longer than I had planned, and since I am a crazy person when it comes to being early I decided to forgo lunch and just deal.
The party was awesome.  We had about 16 kiddos and their parents as well as 10 wonderful young people from our MC Family join us for Hannah’s party.  10 young adults who do not have children took time out of their Sunday – time where they could have been doing whatever their heart’s desires – came and celebrated Hannah.  Boy, did she feel special.  And loved.  And she had a blast.  Especially the children chasing and tackling Mr. Lee in the pool.  Awesome!
Very good time had by all.  My homemade dairy-free chocolate brownie ice cream and brownies were a hit – with those who were willing to try them. 
So were the birthday cake and cake pops by MoCakes.  Giraffes and Princesses – what can I say?
After the party, we came home, changed clothes and went to Jason’s Deli for dinner.  I had a Chicken Salad with apples and grapes.  It was really good – and called something, but I really can’t remember.  It was perfectly Whole 30.  We also ran into some amazing friends and continued celebrating Hannah. (I did have an Olde Style Barq’s Root Beer (Don’t shoot me, I’m being honest).  It was soooo sweet.  But did not have any corn syrup in it.  What I really wanted was a margarita, but I settled on the Root Beer.
We are headed out of town on Tuesday (just the kids and I), but we are going to see Aunt Bekah and she is all about eating like we do so we are going to split the groceries and enjoy some awesome whole and healthy foods.  We are evening taking our own food to the water park on Tuesday.  Looking forward to a super fun and hopefully heart filling trip.
I just got two books from the library today – Wheat Belly and The China Study so look for my opinion regarding the both of them at some point.  And I know I owe a blog on Food, Inc. – which still makes me so angry.  LOL

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Whole 30–Day 7

I haven’t logged my food into My Fitness Pal for the past two days, but let me reassure you that I have been eating well.
This morning I had an Island Bliss Smoothie with Sprilina (however you spell it).  I thought this was some huge protein, but I was wrong.  Regardless, I don’t think it hurt me.  Pineapple Juice, Banana, Mango and Papaya – no added sugar.
Our MC met this morning for family time.  The kids spent the night with Grandma so Stephen and I were able to attend and participate more intimately than we have been able to in the recent weeks.  It was a good time.  Afterwards we loaded up and headed to lunch.  The group chose Torchy’s Tacos.  And I know you’re thinking, “Rose, there is absolutely nothing at Torchy’s Tacos that you can eat.”  You know what?  You’re totally right!  So Kalyn and I went next door to My Fit Foods and had Almond Encrusted Chicken Nuggets, Cinnamon Carrots (GROSS) and broccoli.  They even heated up our meal for us.  We took our lunch next door and ate with the others.  And talked.  Really talked.  Kalyn, if you’re reading this, you are amazing.  And an inspiration.  I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for you in the coming months and years.  I love you!
Anyway, Stephen and I then went to Costco to pick up water for Hannah’s b-day party tomorrow and to Whole Foods to pick up the ingredients I needed to make a Paleo Friendly treat for Kalyn and I (and whomever else would like) to have tomorrow at the party.  For a sweet friend who is chugging along great with me this month, I wanted to make sure we were able to have something sweet as well.
I got home, reevaluated and realized I needed to head out to Sprouts to grab some chocolate chips and pick up some “favors” for the kids coming to the party.  The kids were exhausted from their weekend with Grandma so Stephen stayed home, and I got a little bit of time to myself.  It’s so nice to go to the store and just walk around and not feel rushed.  Beach balls will be the favors for tomorrow – only fitting since the party is at Deep Eddy Pool.  Of course, we won’t hand them out until after ice cream cake and cake pops (from MoCakes – yeah, you’re jealous.  I know I am.  I can’t have any Sad smile ).  I am so blessed to have a best friend who is willing to trade photos for cake pops!  Love her!
I came home and made The Spunky Coconut’s Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream.  You will have to scroll to the bottom of the post to get the recipe.  I made the brownies and LOVE them.  Next time I won’t put Sunbutter in them though.  I want a chocolate brownie, not a peanut butter flavored chocolate brownie.  I did not make my own almond milk – who has time for that?  When I made her mint ice cream I did make the cashew milk.  And felt like I wasted a ton because I wasn’t sure about drinking it. 
I had the rest of my Chicken Salad from the other day with some mayo. 
PS TMI– I know I’m eating well because last time I did this, I got my period after the first week.  This time, again, like clockwork.  Good thing mine only lasts about 2 days Smile

Friday, August 3, 2012

Whole 30–Day 6

Today has been a long day.  I haven’t felt well.  I think the massage is busy purging toxins from my body.  That’s all I share.  You’ll be thankful.

Anyway, we stayed home today, and I let my children play and watch media all day – except for 2 hour where they had quiet time.  Cayden actually took a nap.  I’m shocked.

Breakfast was light – as I was not feeling well.  A fruit and veggie smoothie.  Mostly fruit and a cucumber and coconut milk and chia seed.

Lunch was leftover chicken salad.  And what was supposed to be an unsweetened peach tea from Sonic.  I think I drank 1/4 of it and then had to throw it away.  Ugh. <—I’m guessing that’s a good sign.

All in all I’d say my quasi-Whole 30 is going well.  Hannah’s birthday party is this weekend.  We are having ice cream cake, cake balls and water.  I am making myself a “safe” dessert to enjoy at the party.  She wanted to have a party at Deep Eddy Pool and since they don’t allow food in the main area, it made for food and entertainment quite easy.  Of course, since it’s at such a fun place, nearly everyone is attending (which is awesome), but a little scary nonetheless.  It’s going to be awesome.  I just hope there’s enough cake. 

I really don’t know what I’m going to have for dinner.  I am hungry but don’t feel well so I will probably just have leftover chicken salad unless Stephen wants to go on a date.  And in that case, who knows if it will be Whole 30.  Need to check out The Clothes Make the Girl for suggestions.   Maybe 24 Diner.  We’ve never been there and it looks interesting.  Hmmm.  Will have to see.  Especially with the birthday and a trip I’m taking coming up.

And of course, that all depends on weather or not I continue to feel like I might fall over.  Maybe we will just stay home, and I’ll go to sleep.  <--- Much better option.

I will blog about Food, Inc. later.  When I am not so worked up about it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Whole 30—Day 5

Well, it’s Day 5 of my adventure.  I’ve already blogged once today.  I haven’t exercised, but I think I’m okay with that at the moment.  I’d love to go for a walk.  Maybe I’ll take the dog in a bit. 

Breakfast was Egg Plant Hole in Your Head.  It was um. . I think it was good.  I don’t remember having egg plant before, but sautéed in Olive Oil was really good.  I ate the centers after I cut them out for the eggs.  I had 3 eggs over easy with the egg plant, cooked in coconut oil w/ sea salt.  The sea salt really upset my stomach.  So for breakfast I had 3 slices of egg plant (essentially the whole egg plant since it was small) and 3 eggs. 

Then I dropped my kids off at VBS and headed to Massage Envy.  A couple year’s ago, Stephen got me a membership to Massage Envy.  I don’t go every month.  I get a teacher’s discount.  And I’m so thankful for it.  Today, I was able to enjoy a 2 hour massage.  It was wonderful.  Worked out all sorts of kinks I’m having.  I still feel good from it. 

Lunch was Subway – I know I’ve been eating out quite a bit this week.  I just haven’t managed to get to the grocery store for lunch foods – and I only like to cook once a day.  I know it’s completely pathetic, but it’s how I am.  I need to check every week on Sunday to see if I need to go to the grocery store, because if I don’t, and then I do need to go, it never happens.  I should have went yesterday.  I went swimming instead.  Embarrassed smile 

Anyway, I had the Chicken and Spinach Salad with Avocado and Oil and Vinegar Dressing.  Very good.  Very healthy.  Full of Veggies.

We came home and I cleaned up the kitchen mess and prepared lemonade.  The kids wanted to have a lemonade stand.  I wasn’t thrilled but decided it would make for some good entertainment.  They set up at 3:00 and I believe they made about $10 by the time we closed it at 6:00.  The neighbor kid helped, so we split the profits.  They all wanted something from the ice cream man, so $6 to the ice cream man.  Cayden didn’t help after about 1 1/2 hours so Hannah and Gabriel split the rest and shared $.75 with Cayden (which I thought was really sweet, but Cayden was very angry).  Taught them a little about economics, and I wasn’t out any $$ when it came to buying from the ice cream man. 

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This evening dinner was AMAZING! First I’m so proud of myself for conquering Homemade Mayo.  I used the girl’s advice from Every Day Paleo and used my stand mixer instead of my blender.  It’s a little thinner than say, store Mayo, but it’s totally Mayo!! Whoop!  Whoop!!

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And then I took that mayo, well some of it, and made chicken salad with the left over chicken from last night. I totally jacked up the Whole 30 without realizing it though.  I put pesto in it.  Spinach and Walnut Pesto from the Farmer’s Market.  Well, I did not realize my pesto had parmesan in it until I ate some.  I only but 2 tablespoons in the whole chicken salad, but unfortunately, I blew it.  And I will eat all of this by the end of the weekend.  It’s okay.  I forgive me.  Whole 30 forgives me.  And I’m still on Day 5 Smile

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So while I’m continuing my Whole 30 adventure, my friend, Kelly, thought it would be fun to give me a little “homework.”  She has recommended a few documentaries and a few books.  The books are currently all checked out at the library so I thought I would start with the TV.  Last night I watched Forks Over Knives. 

This was a very interesting documentary.  I pretty much have a similar opinion regarding food.  So many people are busy filling their bodies up with packaged, processed, chemical filled foods, and it is KILLING them (myself included Sad smile ).  I, however, have really been trying to change the way we eat for some time.  Our family was doing a great job of it until the accident last year when our world was made chaotic for pretty much an entire summer.  All of our good habits died with that because we were living away from home, trying to adjust to the craziness, and really just get by. 

Once we were back home, I continued to try and change the way we were eating, and really got a lot accomplished, but I was still feeling bleh.  And I was on a lot of medication, mainly, Ambien.  I could not sleep without it.  So my friend, Cindy, started the Whole 30 as a part of her gym membership, and I decided to give it a try.  Give up all grains, added sugar, dairy, and legumes for 30 days.  Would it be hard?  Yes.  Could I do it?  Most definitely.  You can follow my blog posts by clicking on Whole 30.  I certainly didn’t blog all 30 days, which is a shame, but I blogged some.  I got through it.  It was tough—let me tell you.  I was so exhausted the first two weeks that I was in bed by 8:30-9 every day.  But by Week 3, I was off all my medication.  ALL OF IT!  Anyway, I finished my 1st Whole 30 and lost 11 lbs. and was down 1 1/2 pant sizes.  I also learned that I really cannot handle gluten or corn.  At all.  Or Soy (it makes me nuts and hot).  But instead of changing the family’s way of eating 100%, I just halfa$$ed is and ended up putting back on all the weight and ending up back on a sleep aid (Benadryl).  Probably 75% of the time I would eat “clean.”  And the other, I just ate. 

So I decided enough was a enough.  My plan was to get the family eating 90% Paleo by summer’s end.  It’s quickly approaching and while I’m Paleo 100% (ha! for the past 5 days), the kids are probably 85% Paleo.  And I’m okay with that.  They still drink milk (because they love it), and occasionally have bread and a cookie.  But we don’t keep it in the house (we do have milk). 

Anyway all of this was to say that I learned my body doesn’t tolerate things.  And my doctor said I can’t have milk.  I have a Ear, Nose, and Throat sensitivity to dairy.  When I drink dairy, I get sinus infections.  ALL THE TIME.  So I switched to coconut milk and love it.  I never really liked milk – I like milkshakes and ice cream so I have learned how to make a coconut variation.  And they are yummy.

But I digress.  Forks Over Knives shows us how we are killing ourselves.  They say it’s with meat and dairy.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  They recommend a Plant Based Diet, but from all I’m read and researched regarding my body (gallbladder free) and a plant based diet, it’s no bueno for me.  I do agree we all should eat more veggies.  I just don’t know how I would get my protein if I switched to a plant based diet since I seem to have a hard time digesting beans.  That is the one thing that I actually have taken out of my diets – as much as I love them, and see a big difference.  When you don’t have a gallbladder you are supposed to avoid pretty much everything  LOL – fried foods, high fat meats, dairy, pizza, butter, cream based foods, meat gravies, coconut oil (say what??), chocolate, skin of turkey and chicken, whole grain foods, nuts, seeds, legumes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, corn etc.  Seriously, it looks like I can eat spinach and chicken.  Oh and some fruits.  And maybe rice.

But in all reality, I have learned that I do not tolerate corn – which is pretty much in everything.  I have had a Coca-Cola addiction for the longest time, and now that I learned about this – no more.  If I want a Coke, which is rare, it’s a Mexican Coke or Maine Root Cola from Central Market.   And I savor every sip. 

I also don’t tolerate soy very well, and I’m assuming it’s the Gluten that makes my tummy like a rock. 

Anyway, Forks Over Knives looks really awesome, if you can tolerate the food.  I don’t know if I could.  I won’t say that I wouldn’t try this.  Although with my interesting scenario I guess I would eat rice, quinoa and veggies.  Not much protein there at all.

I do believe that the chemicals and hormones that are put in food are leading to obesity and cancer.  I do believe we are slowly killing ourselves.  And for my family, it stops now.  I’m saddened that the government has so much control on what’s “healthy” and okay for our kids to eat at school.  And that it’s ingrained in their brains from the very beginning.  I’m starting to think “God Food” – which is really much like the Paleo Diet.  A plant based diet, too.  If God made it, then eat it.  If man made it, don’t.  Pretty logical thinking.  So hard to do since we are all addicted to the chemicals and crap that makes us crave the processed foods.

At any rate, it was very interesting.  But I still like my meat. Smile

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Whole 30–Day 4


Well, I don’t know if anyone read this thing, but I am happy to say that today was a super fun and relaxed day with the kids.  They both slept in until 9:00, causing us to skip VBS, but giving us an opportunity to meet some friends at the pool.  We swam from 11:30-1:00 with myself actually swimming around for an hour of that time.  I am tired.  And I know that tomorrow I will be sore.  But that’s okay, because I have a two hour massage with Shannon (my 2nd favorite massage therapist) tomorrow morning while the kids are at VBS.  They are not sleeping in tomorrow.  LOL

Anyway, I finished off the egg and sausages (Eggs Nests).  I think it’s a good thing.  Pretty sure that they would have been bad tomorrow.  I’m going to make Eggplant Hole in the Head this evening to have tomorrow morning with the eggplant I bought 2 weeks ago from the Farmer’s Market.   My friend, and nutritional “specialist,” Kelly, of Nutty Alternatives,  would be proud.  I will substitute coconut oil for the butter since I don’t have any ghee on hand.  I don’t even know where to get ghee.  LOL

Anyway sleep, a breakfast of egg’s nest and fruit (I cannot remember what I ate), swimming, snack of grain free granola (I admit, I added some Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips), and watermelon.

We were invited over to a friend’s house afterwards so we stopped by Wendy’s.  I had a Chicken Berry Almond Salad (1/2 order) with like 1 tsp of the dressing (which was really, really sweet).  Probably not Whole 30, but close enough.

The kids played for a good 1 1/2 hours which I chatted with Jo, and then we headed home.

I made a whole chicken for dinner.   I used my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker.  If you want one, contact Christina Erickson.  I also made Butternut Squash Fries.  I went to the Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago and bought two.  Why?  Because.  I had no idea what to do with them.  So tonight I decided to eat one.  And I made fries with them.  They look so yummy.  I’m waiting for Stephen to get home before I eat, but I think I may have to start without him.  I’m HUNGRY and dinner looks and smells so yummy.

Anyway, that’s my day.  I haven’t had many issues.  I am trying to eat more veggies.  It’s not because I don’t like them, but more because I don’t know how to prepare them.  I’m not sure if I like eggplant, but I will eat it if I make it because I hate to waste food. 

PS – I did not go to Chick Fil A today.  Not because I am boycotting them (if someone want to boycott someone, let them.  I’m not boycotting CFA, just like I’m not boycotting Starbucks or Home Depot.  But I didn’t think it was worth it to take my family somewhere and eat junk (which is not at all Whole 30) or wait in line for an hour just to get something to eat.  Really?  What is that teaching my children?  And that’s a rhetorical question.  Anyway, I don’t know how often we will dine there after reading this – Chick Fil A or Chemical Fil A.  YUCK

In His Word: "We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right." Hebrews 12:11 GW

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Whole 30–Day 3

Well, I made it through Day 3.  It was a crazy day.  I am the SS and Nursery Coordinator at my church, and so I had to get some curriculum up into North Austin at some point today. 

For breakfast I grabbed 2 eggs nests, a cup of strawberries and made a homemade coconut milk latte with gloria jeans butter toffee coffee and vanillia stevia.

My morning started with lots of traffic.  Last week, some dude didn’t pay attention to the height of his load and hit our main bridge over the highway causing it to be shut down for 7 hours.  Well, it’s been nearly a week and the bridge is still not 100% open causing major traffic delays.  And someone decided it would be a good idea to try and run across Hwy 71 this morning and got hit by two cars (and died Sad smile ) but also caused the highway to be shut down during rush hour.  This caused me to have to take an alternate route out of my neighborhood and after 40 minutes of sitting in traffic, I finally got across the highway and was able to get my kids to VBS (15 minutes late). 

Once they were dropped off, I had to go to the dentist.  Now I admit, I haven’t been to the dentist in 4 years.  I actually thought it had been more than that, but I knew this appointment wasn’t going to be fun.  I knew there wasn’t going to be a cleaning and just a lot of X-Rays and a bunch of other evaluations of my mouth.  I’m told that I have great gums and teeth but that I have a few cavities on a few teeth (okay 2 cavities) and that my old fillings need to be replaced.  The estimate when I get through?  On top of my $46 copay for a $156 appointment?  $3,000.  THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS.  I immediately get on the phone and call my childhood dentist and ask if they will give me a 2nd opinion.  They even let me fax the estimate to them.  And they are SHOCKED.  Tons of work that appears to be unnecessary.  I’m thankful that #1. I have insurance, and #2. I have someone from whom to seek a second opinion.  I’m going to my childhood dentist (SHOUT OUT TO DR. TENNISON) and will happily receive the treatment he feels I need.

That being said, I got done with the dentist and had to pick up the kids and head north.  We went up to the Arboretum and ate at 5 Guys.  I had a bunless burger all the way.  It was good – and Whole 30. 

We visited the cows, and then headed home.  The kids were disappointed because Amy’s Ice Creams in the Arboretum doesn’t take Credit Cards.  I was not.  LOL

We got home and had quiet time for 1 1/2 hours.  And then I decided I should do my civic duty and go vote.  Its 100+ degrees outside, but I load the kids on their bikes and we make the 1/2 mile walk to the voting place.  Only to be told it’s closed.  By the time we got home we were all hot, and there was NO WAY I was cooking dinner.  So we waited for Stephen to get home, and we headed to Jason’s Deli – where I had a Chicken Club Salad – no cheese with Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing.

All in all I had a great day.

Oh – and I had a peach today for a snack.

I’m feeling great.  I’m tired, but not exhausted like the first time.  I am ready to stop taking Benadryl at night.  I am down to one pill a day instead of two. 

Oh and Kalyn, she is ROCKIN’ her Whole 30.  XOXOXO

Monday, July 30, 2012

Whole 30–Day 2: Does anyone want an 8 year old?

In all seriousness, today was a tough day with the girl.  She is trying to becoming more independent and in doing so, she is a complete terror when it comes to her treatment of me.  It is down right hurtful.  She tells at me, tells me I don’t understand, tells me I don’t love her, tells me she wishes she was the baby.  All because she cannot handle it lately when I tell her no or disagree with her on some level.  It’s insane

No matter how I try to model Christ’s love, I just get angry.  Just 5 minutes ago she started to tell me she was sorry.  Trying to be the good and understanding parent, I asked, “What are you sorry for, Hannah?”  And then, she screams at me.  She can’t answer me (which is okay, and I would have gotten to that) so she screams at me.  I cannot have her screaming at me – #1. Because I’m her mother.  You don’t speak to your parents like that, but #2. Because I’m a person.  She cannot talk to anyone the way she’s been talking to me lately, regardless of her frustration or anger at herself.  She obviously knows she has done something wrong.  I’d go as far as to say that she understands why it’s wrong, but she is like a toddler right now learning to talk.  She can’t seem to express her feelings to me.  I guess I need to pick up that book (Preparing Your Daughter for Every Young Woman’s Battle) and continue to read about what she’s feeling/going through/whatever.  This evening, I’m just at a loss.

My sister-in-law posted this verse the other day, and I have been reading it daily and really struggling to model this way, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that” (Ephesians 5:1 MSG).

I’m not even going to get through this post. 

Whole 30 Day #2 was fine.

Breakfast was 2 eggs and sausage and a smoothie that had spinach, cucumber, strawberry, banana, blueberry and blackberry.  It also had a little bit of coconut milk and then some Capri Sun Super V (I was desperate).

Snacks today were granola and a 1/4 of a local larabar (won’t be doing that again, $4 for a bar is ridiculous).  I also had a Almond Milk Iced Latte.  I over did it on the Grain Free Granola.  I also had an apple.

Lunch was left over Salmon from Thursday evening and Squash Medley.

Dinner was Fool’s Gold Chicken Nuggets from the Paleo Parents and green beans.

Praying that tomorrow is a better day all around. 

Edited to Add: I went on a 20 minute, 1 mile walk with Cayden this evening.  I’ve strained my calf muscle and a mile is as far as my body would let me go.  Pretty disappointed, but I’ll get over it.

(On a positive note, we had some issues with a Blu-Ray player Stephen got me for Mother’s Day.  The registration code was EXTREMELY offensive, and after many attempts of trying to contact them to let them know, we had success.  All I wanted was an apology, but they are insisting on sending us a fun bundle that includes a new Blu-Ray player [mine has to go to jail LOL], some movies for the kids, and GET THIS, the newest model of Sony’s DSLR camera!  The representative originally wanted to send us a nice gift card [I was thinking $50], but instead noticed in my signature that I’m a photographer, and offered to send me the latest camera.  I’m overwhelmed with excitement!  And very pleased with how Sony is handling the situation, regardless of the goodies we’re receiving.)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Whole 30 Day 1

Well, I am happy to say that I made it through the day without any issues.  We didn’t have worship today due to the parking lot of our meeting place being repaved which gave me some extra time to sleep.  Sleep is something that I have been having major issues with since going back to eating poorly.  I don’t know what it is (the corn, the soy, the wheat), but something is making me not be able to sleep.  After going off my sleep meds in March, I have had to take Benadryl to get some decent sleep (which isn’t Ambien, but it’s still a dependency).  I’m looking forward to next week when I won’t need it.  Smile 

This morning I woke up and had breakfast – the Bacon, Kale and Black Olives Egg Pie.  I had two slices of it to finish it off.  Really the best pie ever.  I got the recipe from the cookbook by Paleo Parents, Eat Like a Dinosaur.  The fact that my husband loved it says something HUGE.  Anyway, I’ll be making this again after I finish the Eggs in a Nest (also from this book) that I cooked up on Thursday evening.

I also had a strawberry, banana, spinach, zucchini, blackberry, coconut milk with a 1/2 dropper of Vanilla Crème Stevia and 2 tsp of chia seed gel (because I need to use it up).  I had this to up my morning carb intake.  I was hoping it would give me energy, but it didn’t.  I haven’t rested well so after breakfast I went straight to sleep.  LOL

I didn’t have lunch because I was still full from breakfast.  It was over 700 calories, so I’m okay with skipping breakfast.

My mom and I took the kids swimming this afternoon.  We spent 2 hours at the pool and I probably spent an hour of it swimming with my kiddos.  My legs are still killing me from helping a friend move up 3 flights of stairs.  I took them several times, and since I have had calf issues in the past, it doesn’t surprise me that I’m in so much pain.

Dinner was amazing.  I had a spinach salad with zucchini and baby tomatoes from the local farmer’s market – topped it with Lemon Olive Oil and Cherry Balsamic Vinegar.  I also made Chicken Wings and Sweet Potato Coins.  This meal was pretty close to perfect.  Cayden was at a birthday party, and Hannah ate leftover lasagna from my mom, but Stephen and I enjoyed this yummy dinner.  And Stephen promptly packed it up for lunch tomorrow – which makes my heart happy.  Smile

I also made the Paleo Parents Grain Free Granola.  Just to have something quick and yummy to munch on throughout the week. 

So there you have it. 

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)

Whole 30 July 29-August 28

Today begins my 2nd Whole 30.  I completed my first one in March of this year and cannot believe how awesome I felt afterwards.  Life caught up with me, and instead of continuing to eat whole, real foods, I began to poison my body with processed foods that left me feeling tired and bloated.  Stephen and I complete a week of Whole 30 eating together 2 weeks ago, but we got off track on the weekend, and essentially never got back on track.  After 2 weeks of feeling lousy (trying a tiny bit to eat well, but making excuses when I didn’t), I’ve decided to do it again.  For the month of August.  It’s not going to be easy because Hannah’s birthday falls within the next week, but I’m doing a modified Whole 30, giving allowing myself to include honey and bacon (I know, nothing about bacon is good for you, but it is something I feel like I need to “allow” myself to have.”

So that being said, I will blog every day (I hope) to hold myself accountable.  I hope someone will read it and cheer me on while I attempt to take my life back. 

During my Whole 30, I hope to meet some very personal goals.  I got this idea from The Whole Family.  I admire this family so much for doing this together.  My family will be eating what I eat probably 85% of the time because I’m who cooks, but right now, I am focusing on myself before I can focus on my family.  I must take time for myself.  In doing so, I will be able to teach my family.

#1 I want to strength my relationship with my heavenly Father.  I want to spend time with Him every day – in His Word.  I want to continue to learn and discover more about His love and what it means for everyone.  In light of the whole CFA debacle, I want to turn to His word and discover on my own in reference to things I have been told all my life.  I pray the Holy Spirit guides my moments in the Word and my relationship with Christ is strengthened.

#2 I am committing to get at least 30 minutes of exercise EVERY DAY.  This might mean an evening walk with my family.  It might mean swimming in the pool, hiking, whatever.  But I want to be active.  I want to run, but I’m having some calf issues right now, and I know that running would not be good for me.  But I am committed. 

#3 I am going to blog every day.  It may just be a “I made it through the day and didn’t die” post, but I will blog every day. 

These are my goals.  I am ready.  I know I am in His grip.  And so, I am doing this for myself.

“So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you're eating to God's glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God's glory.” 1 Cor 10:31 (MSG)

PS – I am so thankful for two sweet friends who I know are following my journey, and to one for actually taking this journey with me.  You both mean the world to me.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let’s Talk Smoothies

Stephen and I have really been trying to get healthy and be active.  We both realize that we need to lose weight.  This is the first time in a long time, though, where Stephen has actively been involved in the process and actually being a willing participant.

I have started jogging.  Well, I like to call it walogging.  I’m not fast at all, and I am still jog/walking – with my walk time being more than my jog time.  I know in a few weeks that will flip, but until then, I’m will keep on keeping on.  And I’m not convinced that my jog is really a jog anyway.  LOL

Stephen was intrigued when someone brought up to him the system Body by Vi.  It’s essentially a meal replacement shake that you drink 2 times a day and then eat a sensible dinner.  This system has had great success just like a lot of others out there.  In fact, the person who recommended it to Stephen has lost 25 lbs  (possibly more) in a very short amount of time.  But just like with processed things, you learn about the product.  The product is soy based and contains artificial sweeteners.  This person’s wife tried the product and learned that she has a soy intolerance, just like I do.  Soy makes me feel really funky, gives me mood swings, and makes me HOT, and not sexy hot.  Hahaha.  Anyway, you learn it’s not for everyone – and that’s okay.  What works for one may not work for another.

But that got the wife (I feel really weird saying the wife, but I don’t want to use names since I don’t have permission) and I talking about the convenience of a smoothie breakfast.  How quick and easy it is, so we’ve been playing with some recipes.  Stephen wants to try the homemade smoothie route – and see if he can get similar results without having to pay extra for a product. 

So now we are on a mission.  To find recipes for amazingly healthy smoothies that will help us stay full. 

Yesterday we didn’t have much of anything so we created a smoothie with a handful of strawberries, a handful of blueberries, probably a cup of coconut milk, Stephen threw in a banana, some vanilla stevia, and 2 tbs of ground chia seeds.  If you haven’t read about the benefits of chia, you are missing out. Smile 

The smoothie was pretty good.  I wish I had used the banana, too, because mine was pretty tart. 

The smoothie did it’s job for Stephen.  It kept him full for the morning.  I had just come back from a run so it did get my blood sugar back up (I could tell, I’m not 100%), but I was hungry by midmorning. 

This morning we woke up and mixed it up a bit – Stephen’s consisted of strawberries, banana, and 6 oz of orange juice along with the ground chia seeds and a little vanilla stevia.  Mine was orange juice, 1/4 cup strawberries, 1/4 cup peaches, 1/4 cup raspberries, a whole banana and some chia seeds.  I can tell this will keep me full.  And it was AMAZING.  Let me tell you.  Sooo good! 

So that’s the start of our smoothie mission. 

We are also walking together as a family (kids are riding their bikes) for a mile in the evenings.  Tonight it will just be Stephen and me since the kids will be at church with Grandma. But that will give Stephen’s legs a chance to rest a bit since he’s been busy chasing after Hannah on her bike.  His legs haven’t see this much activity in a long time.  He’s hurting – but it’s a good hurt.  Winking smile

Friday, May 4, 2012

Here’s to Health

I have several people in my life who are on a weight loss smoothie/meal replacement kick.  I think it’s great for them.  They have found something that works and it’s helping them lose weight and gain confidence.  So important in life. 

Unfortunately, with weight loss supplements of any kind, and my body, I do not do well.  Most of the time, I just get sick.  Many weight loss supplements – of the powder form – is made with artificial sweetners and contain soy.  This product that my family has started to use, does as well.  And that’s okay.  Like I said before, I’m not knocking it at all.  I want everyone to be successful.  And healthy.  And if this is a way to jumpstart that, then all be it – let’s do it!

I, however, am trying to eat cleanly – and not put anything artificial in my body – it’s not an easy task.  And I’ve really slipped over the past 3 months, but I’m ready to commit now.  Several friends of mine (whom I love so much) have said to me – “Rose, you can’t take an all or nothing approach.  Doing so is going to set you up to fail.”  I think I am finally hearing them.

Now, the shake/smoothie idea intrigues me so I have been googling “Paleo Protein Smoothies” and here is what I’ve found.  I mean, if the whole “shake” idea works, why not do it in a way that puts 100% of goodness into my body?

Blueberry Nut

  • 1 oz water
  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 1 oz macadamia nuts
  • 3/4 c frozen blueberries

Carrot Spinach

  • 3/4 c carrot juice
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1/4 c ice
Coconut, Strawberries and Pumpkin Smoothie
  • 3/4 cup of cool water
  • 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin. If you can though, use fresh pumpkin.
  • A handful of frozen strawberries. To be honest, you could probably use other berries too! :)
  • Coconut oil, make sure it’s liquid and around 2 tablespoons.

To make sure the smoothie actually comes out right blend the the ingredients together without the coconut oil, then add it in afterwards and blend again. Enjoy!

Chocolate, Avocado and Coconut Smoothie
  • A handful of frozen berries or fruit
  • 1/4 cup of avocado
  • Coconut oil, about one tablespoon
  • Either add coconut, almond milk or water, it’s your choice.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

He loves me

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.  It wasn’t until High School when I realized I was being “called” into the ministry.  I wanted to teach and share the love of Christ at the very same time.  Lutherans, in particular, put a lot of emphasis on the “call.”  You are either being “called” into the ministry or you’re not – you’re just meant to work and serve in other ways.
For the longest time, I really and truly believed this.  I had friends who went off to college to become teachers and doctors, lawyers and accountants, and although they were Christian, I for some reason believed that  they were not in the ministry – they would serve in their churches, but not in their daily lives.

Teaching at a Lutheran school was a great experience for me.  It was a challenge and it wasn’t always easy, but I am blessed by my time there – still to this day.  It’s fun to be “friends” with my former students on Facebook.  I see their daily lives and think, “Wow, so and so really has done well.”  Or I see how the Lord is using my former students in amazing ways. 

Now that I have been “out of the ministry” for some time, I have realized that no matter what I’m doing, I’m still ministering to others.  Taking my kids to school, I’m ministering to them.  Spending time with my students at preschool – even when we aren’t singing about Jesus?  Yep – that’s ministry.  Kissing my kiddos booboos and giving them hugs to lift them up.  Total ministry.  I celebrate every day. I am blessed every day just by my daily activities.

I was having a conversation a few months ago with a friend from church.  I told him that someone had mentioned to me that Cayden was meant for the ministry – he says some pretty profound things about Christ and forgiveness – and he’s only 6 (okay, in 3 days he’ll be 6).  His response to me?  “Cayden is in the ministry.  We all are.  All the time.”  And he’s right.  Cayden ministers to me daily when he practices forgiveness with all he comes in contact with – our dogs, myself, his sister, his friends.  Forgiveness is not easy for a child, and yet Cayden is filled with it.  And he shares it with everyone. 

We are called by Christ to share His love with everyone we meet.  We have each been given different talents and gifts by Him.  And it doesn’t matter if we use them in a classroom or at playground, what matters most is how we use what we have been given.  Even though I am not in a typical, everyday classroom where I teach religion, I am touching the lives of those around me.  And whether I realize it or not, I am ministering to their needs.  I just want to be like Jesus.  I want others to know Him.  Not as some scary and powerful Lord who can take away everything in the blink of an eye if he wanted to.  I want people to know the Lord who weeps with me, celebrates me, and loves me, not because I’m perfect (because we all know I’m not), but because He made me.  

Our pastors reminded me this Sunday (and yes, me personally, but it was for all to hear) that our God doesn’t just wait for us to worship Him.  He doesn’t sit around and take notes on who sings better or is serving better than another.  The Lord celebrates YOU.  You!  Not just His Son, but YOU and me.  It’s in His word, Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
I don’t know about you, but I do know that there are times in worship when it take every ounce of my being to not fall on my knees in praise and adoration for my Lord.  And there it is, in His Word, that he is singing for me.  Because He made me. He loves me.  He loves me.