I’m beginning to see the light on my path…

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I know I’m almost through week 2, but I want to share a journal entry I had in my personal journal on Day 2. It is not all that eloquent as it was initially just meant for my personal reflection. I feel a bit vulnerable putting this out there for the public to read, but I hope it can inspire someone to not feel alone going against the tide of your normal or the normal surrounding you. So here it is…

Emotionally today I feel spent. And I’m not gonna lie I feel hopeful in the plan, but not my taste buds. I hope and pray that I can find some recipes that are easy and tasty soon. I’m also feeling a little overwhelmed as to how much time I’m in the kitchen and how much time I am reading and learning. I know the learning will come in time, but I just don’t know how I can keep up with the quantity of veggies I need to eat and all the cleaning and chopping. I’m gonna have to come up with a solution to have things more handy. Like one day spent just getting ready with all the stuff and then it will be handy. I might have to do another day mid week too.

I’m also feeling….hmm….what’s the word I’m looking for….like an impostor ..yeah, and…lonely, sad, confused…almost grievous.

Impostor because this new lifestyle I’m trying to adapt myself and family into feels weird. As with any change it is bound to feel weird and uncomfortable. My whole life I’ve felt uncomfortable when I’m in situations that I’m not in control of or don’t look natural at. Makes me fidgety. BUT I don’t want to back down for the sake of my health and my families health.

Lonely, sad, confused…grievous because it’s like I’m turning my back to my past ways as if to say I failed for so many years, and those foods that once were my friend are now my enemy. It honestly feels like I am saying good-bye forever to a good friend {cheese, meat, dairy, sugar, desserts, chips, barbecues, pizza, my favorite restaurants, etc}. How can something that made me feel so good become my enemy in a sense?

It’s a food addiction. {Eureka!} I never knew food could have the same effects as other drugs. I need to chop it off!!! Literally, by chopping those veggies. I feel like the inner demons {strongholds} are getting restless because I’m not fueling them. This week may be rough trying to train taste buds, corner hunger, and deny the demons…and remain constant in the home for my family. Lord I need you!!!

So as you can see I had lots of toiling happening inside me on Day 2. I am so glad I journaled those thoughts because today I am not in the same place, and it’s only been…let’s see 11 days. Seriously!

I’m beginning to see the light on my path…

I’m no longer grieving about the loss of those once beloved foods because with time behind me now I can feel the “better” in my body I was hoping for. I can taste the “yummy” in all these leafy greens and real colors. I’m not kidding you! I use to gag half way through certain salad creations. I literally now chow them down so fast {chew-chew-chew} making all kinds of yummy noises…”mmm”!

I’m beginning to see the light on my path…

As for all the cleaning and chopping of veggies and fruits. Yes I still do chop alot. BUT! But, it is getting better. I have certain recipes that have become familiar thus making prep work faster. I have developed routines throughout my day that keep me focused and on track so I don’t get behind the eight ball. For example, last night at dinner I chopped and washed all my leafy greens for today’s salads too, and made double recipes of my favorite salad dressings. The other day I prepared a huge batch of Black Bean Hummus {oh. my. goodness.} for the week and cleaned and prepped a few veggies.
–just a side note: I don’t like the taste of pre-washed/bagged salads so I chop all my own, and it’s so worth it–

I’m beginning to see the light on my path…

So if you are reading this looking for inspiration, know that you can do it!

Make a decision, find a plan that you are passionate about, make your new lifestyle a priority, read/learn/apply, and tell yourself, “I’m worth it”! And please if you are in that place of needing a lifestyle change, don’t let a year go by and look back and have wishes that you wish you would have. Or give way to excuses that rob you of happiness. That’s such a miserable place. I’ve been there so many years.

I will leave you today with one of my favorite new recipes. It is actually the first thing I made, and thankfully I liked this one 🙂

Cinnamon Fruit Oatmeal
serves 2

Ingredients:
1 C water
1/4 tsp. cinnamon or more
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 C blueberries
2 medium apples, chopped
2 T walnuts, chopped
1 T ground flax seeds
1/4 C raisins

Directions:
In a saucepan, combine water with cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, add rolled oats and blueberries. When the mixture starts to simmer remove from heat and add vanilla. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
While that is sitting, chop your apples, and combine the remaining ingredients. Stir it all together. Divide into two small bowls and top with the oatmeal and blueberry mixture.

{voila!} Enjoy!

Recipe from “Eat For Health” by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

 

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a new {beginning} to optimal health

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So much has been happening in life at home these past few months. A zig-zagging journey through new health findings with my son, my health, and this mom’s desire to provide the best nutrition for her growing kids all led me to where I am today…A decided “Nutritarian” and gluten free.

The skinny {long story short}
My son was recently tested with elevated marks in his routine blood work for Celiac’s Disease. Through a biopsy of his digestive system it has been confirmed he does have it. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom (PCOS), which I have had for years, and I am constantly researching how to live with this disease that most days feels like a plague. And of course the continual stream of information that comes at me through social media about the foods we eat that contain GMO’s, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and on and on…of which I am grateful to be enlightened. All these things led me to make some life altering decisions in the food my family eats.

Through my research on how to get my home gluten free I stumbled on information that broadened my knowledge base of healthful foods in general. Plus I discovered that being gluten free will help my battle against PCOS! Although not all of us need to be gluten free Dan and I decided to implement this lifestyle for the entire family, as well as transitioning to a more “plant-based” diet as opposed to the “Standard American Diet“.

I’m not going to lie, as excited as I was about the added benefits of living a life as a Nutritarian and becoming gluten free I had equal, if not more, anxiety {border line grieving} at the thought of giving up the foods that were my normal. Food surrounds so much in life, social events, birthdays, holidays, traditions, family outings, etc. Plus I LOVE to cook and bake. What’s a girl to do?

Regardless, I press on! For my health, for my family, and for the long-term. And I am thankful and glad that I do enjoy being in the kitchen as that will come in handy with my learning.

So here’s what I’m doing in a nutshell, and I hope to journal my way through with some of my favorite recipes, tips, achievements, and helpful findings for those of you who want to journey to a better life along with me!

Unlimited Daily:
GREEN VEGETABLES, ALL RAW VEGETABLES, NON-STARCHY COOKED VEGETABLES, FRESH FRUIT, BEAN / LEGUMES

Limit Daily: COOKED STARCHY VEGETABLES, WHOLE GRAINS, RAW NUTS AND SEEDS

Limit Weekly: FISH, FAT-FREE DAIRY, WILD MEAT AND FOWL, EGGS

Rarely: REFINED GRAINS, FULL-FAT DAIRY / CHEESE, REFINED OIL, SWEETS

Plus I have taken caffeine and gluten out of my diet.

So that’s it! Crazy! But so exciting! I am almost through week 2 and I’m feeling fabulous. I’ve lost 6.5lbs, and I have more energy than I know what to do with. Seriously how did that happen?!!!

Here’s a link to the book that has become my nutritional bible: “ Eat For Health” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

[worth Giving] just because they’re yummy

Tis the season of giving. Fa la la la la la la la la!

I love a good Christmas cookie. Especially a soft sugar cookie that my mom makes.

Of course learning from the best (my mom), I make a double batch of these at Christmas time and keep them in the freezer to have handy to take with me anytime I go to a friends, a neighbors, or a party.

They are always welcomed with an open mouth…haha! I crack myself up! LOL!

Here is the yummy recipe:

Fabulously Soft Sugar Cookies
3/4 C Real Butter, softened
2 Eggs
1 C Powdered Sugar
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Cream Of Tartar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Almond Flavoring
4 C Flour

Directions:
Cream together butter, eggs, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar. Add remaining ingredients in the order listed. Mix real good and refrigerate overnight. Place cookies onto a chilled cookie sheet with a small cookie scoop. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. It is very important that all cookies are placed on a cooled cookie sheet before baking. Keep cookie dough chilled between batches.

Frosting
1/2 C Real Butter, softened
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 tsp. Almond Flavoring (or more to taste)
Powdered Sugar
Milk (a few drops)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients. Use enough powdered sugar to achieve desired and spreadable consistency.

Tint to your desired color and top with your favorite sprinkles.

And voila! There you have it. Melt in your mouth heavenly yummyness that’s totally worth giving! (yes I make up words)

something new this year…

This year for Christmas we adopted a new tradition that I hope to carry on for many years to come!

We got The Elf On The Shelf!

There was such a buzz going on about this little elf that I had to go check it out for myself. I love the idea of this tradition, and how it engages the whole family.

If you’ve not heard of him, here is the basic idea. Santa sends an elf to your home to sit and watch and see who is being naughty or nice. Then at night when the kids go to bed he reports back to Santa at the North Pole. The next morning he will reappear in a different spot waiting for the kids to find him again. You can’t touch the elf, but you can talk to him all you want and tell him everything you love and want for Christmas.

He’s so cute and brings a whole bag full of fun right to your home. Some days he behaves and some days he gets himself caught in a pickle or a little trouble.

Here is where Samuel found him this morning. He colored the milk pink with food coloring.

I wonder where we will find him next…

[worth Giving] for the birthday Girl…

double layer spice cake & winter jammies

I have a few friends who know how to give the best gifts. I don’t know how they do it, but they do. They must have some special “super gift” skills. Their gifts are random and unsuspected or they’re not your typical “I’ll run by Target” gifts. Their unique and purposed.

I need these skills! Bad. I love to give, but most times I feel a day late or a dollar short. I want my gift to bless like that. I want to give creatively and thoughtfully.

After much contemplating of how to give the most perfect gift it dawned on me, just be deliberate.

 

Talk about eureka! Really, that’s it? Deliberate.

"splurge on shoes"

For example, the birthday Girl gave me this little unexpected gift. Just for organizing a much needed girl’s night out. How sweet right? I’m gonna get some of those little things to have on hand.

I can do deliberate. So lately, each morning I wake, I ask myself, “who can I bless today?” And then do it…or prepare to do it in the near future.

With my new found love of baking and cooking I believe I have found my niche. It works well for me too. With a 7 month old crawling at my feet I need my “deliberate gifts” to work within my already crazy schedule and where I’m already gonna be…the kitchen. Cool how God worked that out.

birthday girl ♥ such a sweetie ♥

The pictured spice cake and jammies were for my dear friend, Charla. I had never given her a birthday gift so that made this all the more fun.

I was at her house the night before her birthday and she mentioned that she really wanted a fall dessert for her birthday, and how she planned to get some pumpkin frozen yogurt after dinner with her family the next night.

I took that information and left with a mission to make her my favorite spice cake that my mom makes in the fall. It is heavenly! I have not personally made this cake before, not that I have made much of anything until now. It’s my new love remember…to bake?

But I put my neck out and thought, “this is how I’m gonna learn.” Plus my mom being a great cook and a good teacher made this a win-win for me.

After my second batch baked and a dozen phone calls (that’s a part of my recipe any time I’m cooking) I had a winner.

Tastes great! Looks great! And what girl doesn’t like a comfy set of jammies? Throw them in too, and this is the perfect gift. And I’m doing the Happy Dance because I’m about to bless someone!

Deliberate gifts are perfect gifts regardless of what the actual gift is, and they say so much. Gifts that say, “just because you’re special”. I like those. And I believe everyone else does too.

Most people wear an invisible sign around their neck that says, “make me feel important.”…or beautiful, seen, loved, etc.

I want to respond to those invisible signs, and I hope you’ll join me.

[DIY] Monogram Christmas Deco


So glad you came by to see this nifty little craft.

With Christmas being my favorite holiday I am always thrilled when I have the opportunity to make a Christmas craft.

So of course I found this idea over at Pinterest.

(((Love that site!))) Almost as much as a good pair of slipper-socks. (hint, hint)

It’s a monogram door hanger. How cool is that? Different from traditional decorations yet still classy.

I took a trip to my local Michael’s store and purchased my letter “K”, some berries, and burlap. I kept my letter white, but you could paint it first if you want.

Simply cut your berries off the stem either with a pair of scissors or a wire cutter. Hot glue them to the letter. This part takes some patience; hopefully you like puzzles. Tie your burlap on and hang.

Voila! There you have it. Super simple.

Or so I thought…

As I was completing this project I ran into a snafu. My letter is not exactly a good letter to hang with the burlap. I tried a few different things, but with a 6 month old baby crawling at my feet I quickly came up with an alternative.

I decide to make it a shelf decoration and not a door hanger. Partially because that’s where it landed and I ended up liking it. Slight bummer that I don’t have something for my front door now, but I really like my alternative.

and here it is sitting in its cozy spot…

[worth Giving] because she had surgery

Since I’ve had Chloe (((just love her))) I’ve been discovering new things about myself. I love to bake and cook! Who knew? And who would’ve thought that adding extra busyness to my life would incur a desire to add even more?

I have so much fun thinking about who I can bless. Now before you send in your meal order you must know I have a limited budget. But who knows maybe one day you will be the one.

Here is my last meal creation that I gave away to a friend who had her gall bladder removed and was not able to make dinner for her family.

This is a super easy and yummy chicken pot pie recipe I got from my friend Courtney. Of course, if you can’t tell, it isn’t baked yet. I took it over earlier in the day and thought they could bake it when they’re ready to eat, and that way it would be nice and hot out of the oven.

And the brownies are just heavenly! This recipe is from my mom who has baked these for years with a few extra yummy adjustments. Not sure if I can post this recipe or not. I’ll ask.

A quart of milk, the perfect beverage to wash this all down.

And voilà! There you have it. A simple all American meal worth giving.