Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Well, it's been a while.  Things are pretty busy around here.  Things fell apart around Halloween.  I overdid it on candy- I have absolutely no self control around it.  I started getting waves of nausea for a minute or two throughout the day.  I thought it was from all the candy.  Except it didn't stop when I got rid of all the candy three days after Halloween.  Yep, I limit our consumption of candy to three days and then it goes.  We had so much left at the end of the three days!  So on Thanksgiving the nausea got worse.  It was awful.  I think I know what the problem is now.  My gallbladder.  I am no doctor, and have not seen a doctor to confirm my suspicions.  I will be going to one in the near future when we have medical insurance again (just a couple weeks to go).  I have researched my symptoms, tracked my symptoms with my food consumption.  They definitely go hand in hand with gallbladder issues.
So a meatless, low fat diet is in order.  Low fat means no dairy.  I am finding it difficult.  I still have a little bit, but have to be very careful.  Last night I made macaroni and cheese for dinner- none for me.  Instead I had a salad.  In the three days I have been eating this way, I have definitely felt better.  I am hoping that the herb formula I am taking for the liver and gallbladder will help as well. 
So we had gone grain free for a bit.  I didn't really feel like going grain free helped me much.  I am pro-grain.  Definitely.  So grains are back in full force in my life.  I even ground 5 batches of spelt flour the other day.  Most of it is in the freezer.  I decided to grind it all at once so I wouldn't have to pull out the wheat grinder every other day.  The kids enjoyed freshly made graham crackers after school on Monday.  Ashley is begging me to make some bread.  I've been a bit lazy and haven't gotten to that one yet this week.  Guess I'd better get on that!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I've eaten a few bad things in the past couple weeks- mostly on the weekends.  Our vegetable intake is still much better than it was before going grain-free.  I'm ready to add some whole spelt back into my diet.  In the form of fresh, homemade pasta and homemade bread.  As much as I love muffins, they have a bit more sugar (and they are actually lower in sugar than most when I make them) than I would prefer to have right now.  I'm still sticking to very low sugar.  I am amazed at how well I've done with hardly any sugar in my diet.  That has always been the hardest thing for me- desserts.  I love dessert.  I will return to eating dessert when I feel a bit more healthy.  I definitely feel like I am not getting enough food to eat in a day.  I'm not hungry or anything, but just feel like I need more.  Adding some bread might just help with my energy levels.  Having a little boy sleep at night would probably help as well. He is sick right now and isn't sleeping well.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I made quinoa for my breakfast today.  I cooked it in half water, half milk.  We added just a bit of raw honey and some cinnamon.  Kind of like serving oatmeal, but it isn't oatmeal.  It is a different texture- it kind of pops as you chew!  (kind of cool in a way)  My almost 2 year old and 5 year old loved it.  I thought it was pretty good, but I'm not used to it yet.  I always tell my picky eater (the 10 year old) that she has to eat something several times to develop a taste for it- and then she will like it.  I think that is how quiona is for me.  I didn't hate it or anything.  It was just so different from what I am used to (oatmeal) that I need to get used to it.  It got better as I ate it- just like with trying beets last week, the more I ate the more I got used to it, the more I liked it.  Quinoa will definitely be a regular breakfast at our house.  Next I plan to try it in place of rice and maybe in tabbouleh.

By the way, you'd think no sugar for over a week would lead to weight loss?  Nope.  What is up?????

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

one week later

It has been a week without grains now.  Okay, so maybe there was a little bit of a grain in the crust when I had a piece of pie on Saturday.  We had friends over.  Okay, so I had some zucchini bread too.  One piece.  I limited myself to only having it on Saturday.  At one meal.  It hasn't been that difficult.  The zucchini bread I made for the kids was the only thing I was really longing for (and I had one little piece).  I will be making them things that aren't as tempting for me from now until I get to have grains again!  That means no pumpkin bread for them.  Sad, because it is October and we all know that means we should be eating pumpkin everything.  Oh well, it is better this way.  I would just end up making pumpkin cookies and then eating all but the few I let the kids eat!  Yeah, that's how it usually goes.  I'm just being real here.
How do I feel?  Not so different.   I think my body is in detox mode.  I haven't lost any weight.  I have a little bit more energy than before, but there were three days in a row that I woke up before 6am (which is not normal for me) and I was very tired those days.  I finally slept to a normal time yesterday and I'm good again.
Some things we have eaten the past few days- taco salad (chips for the kids, none for us), Chipotle salad without rice, roast with carrots, green beans and onions as well as potatoes with gravy (thicken with arrowroot), salad, broccoli, green beans with caramelized onions, eggs, cheese, apples, bananas.
Some new things I'd like to try this week- quinoa and buckwheat.  Both of these are not truly grains, but seeds.  Quinoa is great in place of rice or used in tabbouleh instead of bulgur.  Buckwheat can be ground into flour and used in baking.  It doesn't rise like a grain, so it is best used in biscuits and things that don't really rise.

Friday, September 30, 2011


This week I have done something I never thought I would do.  I stopped eating grains.  Now don't get all excited.  It is only temporary.  I will tell you why.
Jeff has been sick.  It was bad.  For a week.  I finally started him on heavy doses of probiotics.  He is down to a normal dose now.  He has been dealing with digestive issues for quite some time.  I think it has to do with food poisoning while he was in the Army.  Switching to raw dairy has helped, but with this last illness sticking around for so long I decided we should spend some time trying to help him heal.  Now, if you've read much around here you know I'm not into eating tons of meat.  So this isn't a carb-free, all protein thing.  We are amping up our vegetable intake and limiting sugar. (I made some raw fudge with honey because I need SOMETHING to satisfy my sweet tooth once in a while.  It is ridiculously sweet and a tiny piece is all you need.)  We are increasing our meat consumption simply because we need a little extra protein to make up for the protein in the grains we would normally eat.  I have no idea how long we will stick with this, and I am not making my kids cut out grains. 
So what have we been eating?  Well, let's see.  The other night we had baked potatoes.  The kids had that as well.  Last night we ate green beans with (almost) caramelized onions (because I'm not patient enough to cook them that long), roasted beats, and salad.  I've been eating eggs, fruit, and cheese during the day.  Tonight we are having some steaks that have been in the freezer for the longest time.  I'm kind of excited- it has been a long time since I last had steak.  I haven't decided what we will eat with it.  Veggies, of course.  Maybe broccoli and spinach?  Saturday night we will be having a pot roast with carrots, green beans, and onions cooked with it and mashed potatoes with gravy- one of my favorites.  We had that growing up almost every Sunday.  Of course we had jello and cinnamon rolls with it, but we won't be having those tomorrow.  I might make bread or rolls for the kids and the friends we are having over that evening. 
I have been surprised at how well I have been able to stick to this.  Usually it is very difficult for me to give up certain foods (sweets).  I think all the vegetables are really helping.  I'll be sure to post how we feel as time goes on and how it goes when we add grains back into our diet.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


One of the herb formulas I found at is Essiac Tea.  If you know nothing about Essiac and you are into herbs, definitely look into it.  It is touted for healing cancer.  It is the primary formula in her health protocol and is the first one listed- and the last one I tried!  I FINALLY made some.  It was a little daunting to me because it takes over 12 hours to make (12 hours of that is just letting it sit in the pot, covered).  I was also waiting till I had an amber gallon jug in which to make it.  I halved the recipe so it would fit in that jug, ending up with about 3/4 of a gallon.  I have been taking it twice a day and feel that it is making a difference already.  I don't necessarily feel any different, but I can tell it is working.  I can't really explain how I can tell, maybe it is that I have a little more energy and motivation.  That may sound strange, but after battling with depression for most of my life, even in the good times I lack motivation to do anything.  Doing the dishes spontaneously yesterday was very out of the norm for me. I usually avoid it like the plague until I have to do it because we have no dishes left. 
I intend to add more her formulas back into my routine, adding one new one a week.  I was taking several of them before, but I stopped after a while.  I think they will make more of an impact when combined with the Essiac Tea.
I plan to start my kids on it as well, but that means I have to give it to them 15 minutes before they eat breakfast.  That requires me getting up before they start eating.  My kids wake up earlier than Jeff and I, so they usually go and get their own breakfast.  I'm thinking this means I am going to have to start getting up earlier!  Going to bed earlier, as well as rising earlier would probably be better for us anyway.

new recipe

I had the great pleasure of guest posting at No Thugs just recently.  I posted my recipe for Hearty Greek Pasta.  Feel free to go over there and check it out.  Scott's blog isn't a total health food blog, but he has recipes for foods that are definitely healthier than most and could easily be adapted if you felt so inclined.  There are a few plan to try myself, and I look forward to more recipes from him in the future.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I found myself wandering around the kitchen the other day, looking for something to eat.  It occurred to me that I wasn't really hungry.  I was bored.  I don't want to eat just because I am bored!  So I posted signs on the cabinets and refrigerator to remind myself not to eat emotionally.  Instead, I can get a large glass of water.  If I am still hungry in 15 minutes then I am probably am actually hungry.  If not, I should be fine.  That is what the signs on the cabinets tell me to do.  So far it is helping (so far is two days).  I didn't realize just how much I was actually eating out of boredom.  I am finding that I don't need a snack because I am not really hungry between meals- I was eating because I was used to eating at that time of day.  It is helping me to listen to my body instead of my head when it comes to food, and that is how it should be!

Try it.  If you are feeling hungry, take a large drink of water and wait 15 minutes.  See how it works for you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

about spelt

Spelt is not the past tense of spell.  Nope.  It is a grain.  It is actually a variety of wheat.  Hybridization of grains led to the wheat we have today.  There are many different varieties of wheat; hard red, soft white, and the crossbreed of those is hard white. Soft white wheat is good for pastries, so that is what pastry flour really is.  Spelt is further back in the hybridization.  Most bread was made from spelt during the Middle Ages over in Europe, as well as the early 1900s in the United States.  It has more protein than wheat.  It is also tends to be more easily digested.  It has less fiber and calories than wheat. It does contain gluten.  Spelt also has a stronger nutty flavor (which I love).  It can be substituted for wheat flour in most recipes- in fact, I haven't found one that hasn't worked for me yet.
I discovered spelt four years ago.  I was suffering from postpartum depression and wanted to treat it naturally (after a year of medication that only minimally helped).  The naturopathic doctor I went to suggested following the blood type diet.  In the blood type diet, it is suggest that type B (that is me- and my husband, therefore our kids are either B or O, so it works well for all of us) should not eat wheat but rather spelt.  So I switched.  For a long time I still used some white flour (you know the wheat flour that is stripped of all nutrients and then fortified with fake nutrients).  I only use it now on special occasions (birthday cakes).  I found that switching to whole spelt in my baking made a huge difference for me.  It doesn't make nice big, fluffy loaves of bread like wheat.  It makes for more crumbly baked goods.  I have learned that, really, those things aren't important.  My biscuits may crumble on us, but the kids just use a fork to eat it- and they eat it up! 

So now you know why I am always mentioning that I replaced the wheat with spelt in my recipes.  Try it out, you may never settle for the bland taste of wheat again!

snack time

The kids are back in school.  We are finally returning to a schedule.  Things are finally settling down- August is a crazy month for us normally due to several birthdays, school starting, and then end of summer fun we must do.  This August was even more crazy, with two weddings to attend on top of all that.  So I am grateful for the way things have settled down this month.  My two oldest have the late lunch this year, which means a snack is a must for them.  My little (or not so little anymore) kindergartener has snacks provided, but I can send her with a snack instead if I would prefer.  So  I scoured the internet looking for healthy snack ideas.  Nothing all that new and innovative stuck out.  So I asked the kids what they like.  So far, carrot sticks is a favorite.  Now we haven't been eating a lot of carrots at our house in general.  I don't buy baby carrots anymore because of how they are processed.  I don't think they taste as good either.  So I tried buying whole carrots and then peeling and cutting for the kids to eat as snacks.  I was too lazy and never did it.  Because my 5th grader insisted that she wanted carrots this year, I went ahead and bought several pounds of whole carrots.  My husband peels them in the morning and then breaks them in half.  Sometimes I will peel and then cut into smaller sticks, but my kids don't seem to mind the way Jeff makes them.  (Yes, my husband makes the lunches and snacks most mornings- I'm so lucky!) 
My 3rd grader  really likes "ant on a log."  Of course, we don't know where our raisins went, so she's just been getting logs.  Peanut butter and celery.  Ah, the simplicity of it. 
Another thing I have made is popcorn.  I can pop it in my hot air popper the night before.  I have tossed it with some melted almond bark for a real treat (but I try to do a very light coating as it really isn't that healthy).  It can be served plain, with some salt, butter, or other seasonings (crumbled kale chips is supposed to be good, shaved dark chocolate is another). 
Apples are another great snack.  Cut them up and then put a rubber band around the whole thing (including the core) to keep it together and avoid oxidation.  You can add a little peanut butter mixed with honey for dipping (or without the honey if you prefer). 
I will probably be making some home made graham crackers to send as a snack eventually as well.  I have made them a few times, an they are loved!  (I use freshly ground whole spelt instead of wheat, as with all my recipes.)
Nuts are another great snack.  I'm thinking a trail mix would be a great way for them to eat these.  I'm thinking I will take the kids with me to pick out the ingredients and have them help make it.  They seem to eat things more readily when they are involved in picking it out.
I bought some ice packs for their lunches, so this year I might be able to send yogurt as a snack as well.  I would love to get a yogurt maker.  I know you can make it without, but I like the ease of it.  I NEED more appliances in my kitchen! hahaha

What kind of healthy snacks do your kids like?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why is eating healthy so difficult for me?  I do not understand it.  I like healthy foods.  I'm thinking it is all about convenience.  It's easy to pick something processed up at the store and just eat than to prepare foods at home.  I need to plan better.  I didn't make any food to take on our trip to California earlier this month, so we just ate whatever while we were there.  Fast food happened.  I've noticed hives on my arms again.  I've had them since I was a teenager off and on.  More on than off in my adult years.  They disappeared completely over the summer- until about a week or so ago.  I'm guessing it has to do with the food I've been eating.  I have not been eating well.  Lots of junk.  Processed junk.  I just ground some spelt flour today for the first time this month.  That is pretty sad. 
Stress seems to be another issue for me.   Even though I don't feel completely stressed right now I am.  It seems that when stress occurs I tend to stay out of the kitchen, resulting in me eating mostly premade junk.  Of course, I know when I am under stress I should eat even better!  So I make it worse and it turns into a vicious cycle. 
So today I am trying to break the cycle.  That is why I ground some flour.  I used some of the flour to make muffins- chocolate chocolate chip muffins (I get a lot of my recipes from her blog).  They are pretty good.  I am still trying to figure out a way to make them really moist.  They tend to be a bit on the dry side.  I've added more milk, and am considering adding even more.  The extra milk has helped.  Maybe I will make some bread this afternoon as well. 
I made a meal plan but haven't really stuck to it this week.  We have a church event for dinner tonight, but tomorrow night I plan to make baked potato soup.  It is so tasty!  We usually have it with sour cream, shredded raw cheddar cheese, and crumbled uncured turkey bacon.  I think this one is now a weekly menu item (even though it is summer now).  I just need to figure out the perfect side dish (a vegetable) to go with it.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I forgot all about the weekly changes I was trying to do.  Didn't do so well, what with the back issues and all.  The first half of the month I managed to add a few more veggies into our diet than usual.  This week I am shooting for at least one veggie per day.  I hope I can do it!  For dinner tonight?  Baked Potato Soup- it is delicious!
I've been out of it lately.  I hurt my back last week and was on the couch resting for days!  Oh, that was so boring!  I hope I never have to go through that again.  I am back now.  I am not 100% yet, but feeling well enough to cook.  Not so much into the cleaning- too much bending and reaching hurts my back.  I think I might have this problem for the rest of my life (read: I don't ever want to have to clean again)- except my house is a disaster.  Oh well.  My kids are learning to help out around here more.

So I tried to come up with a meal plan for the next few weeks.  This time, I am not assigning them to specific days.  Some of them I will possibly make more than one time.

Hearty Greek Pasta (recipe coming soon!)
Baked Potato Soup
Twice Baked Potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese with Tuna
Baked Ziti
Pasta with Tomato and Basil (recipe coming soon!)
Pizza Pockets
Salmon Pesto Pasta
Spinach Quiche
Leek and Swiss Chard Tart

Some veggie side dish ideas:

Broccoli Slaw
Cole Slaw
Zucchini Latkes
Zucchini and Ricotta Galette
Creamed Spinach
Cabbage and Lime Salad

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I had a sick little boy again yesterday.  My dinner plans changed.  I had ground beef defrosted for cheesy beef and rice, but didn't have time to cook the rice by the time I was able to pass the boy off to Jeff.  He suggested tacos, so I whipped up some taco seasoning and browned the beef.  Someone dropped off a bag of tortilla chips and 2 packages of giant tortillas, so some of us had tacos and others had chips with taco fixing on top.  It was a great last minute meal, too bad I didn't have lettuce for it!

Tonight we had baked potato soup.  I have to tell you, when it was almost done I tasted it and I wasn't quite sure about it.  But then, then, I let it sit for a bit.  I then proceeded to blend it up with my immersion blender.  I didn't leave it very chunky at all.  I knew my kids wouldn't go for that very well.  We topped it with cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits.  Let me tell you, it was delicious.  I told Jeff that the only problem with this recipe was that there wasn't enough of it!  The kids all loved it.  I don't have that happen very often.  Usually there is at least one who doesn't like dinner.  This is a keeper!  You have to try it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunday evening I made macaroni and cheese.  The kids absolutely love this dish and it is so easy with very few ingredients!  When I was out in Virginia a few months back I made it for my grandfather and aunt.  They all loved it too (although I used pastuerized cheese and milk there and I use raw here).  We often add tuna to it.  Of course, it was late by the time I made dinner and I didn't prepare a vegetable.  I'm not doing well with sticking to my veggies, however I am including them more than usual.  It is a slow progression.  My garage refrigerator froze half a head of cabbage, my leeks, and half my carrots.  I forgot that if you stick them toward the back of the darn thing they freeze!  I should put a note on the door so I never forget again.  I might be buying leeks tomorrow.
Some friends from church had a BBQ/pool party Monday evening.  We took our grass fed beef burgers and uncured beef hot dogs and some coleslaw I made.  They were providing the buns for the meat, but I made a couple whole spelt hamburger bun to take for myself.  I didn't even eat a brownie there!  I am quite proud of that accomplishment.  We had a great time, the kids barely got out of the pool long enough to eat dinner!
The little guy was sick today, some stomach bug or something.  So I ended up holding him most of the afternoon and wasn't able to make dinner.  Once Jeff was home from work it was too late to make anything in my meal plan.  I scrounged for something and ended up with some canned chicken, salsa, cheese, and tortillas.  I heated the chicken and salsa on the stove and then put it on a tortilla, added some cheese, and then rolled it up.  I baked it in the oven for about 30 minutes.  It is a type of chimichanga, I suppose.  I also made a big cheese quesadilla for some of the kids.  We all dipped them in sour cream cause that's how we roll up in here!  This would be a much healthier meal if the chicken were a higher quality, the salsa was home made, and the tortillas were whole grain made by myself.  Alas, I was going with what I had on hand that could be made up quickly.  One day I will have it all together!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

plans change

I have messed up my whole meal plan schedule, but that's how I roll!  Jeff worked late Wednesday and Thursday night (well past the kids' bedtime) so I kind of let it all go.  I did make the twice baked potatoes (with hot dogs) on Wednesday evening but didn't do the creamed spinach with it.  Thursday night I scrapped my plans- because I lose all motivation when I know he will be working past midnight- and just bought some chicken from the store for the kids.  I know, not a healthy food by any means- I'm not perfect, you know!  Last night I made pizza pockets.  These are really so easy.  The dough is so simple- it is the same one I used for poptarts.  I don't soak it because I have read that soaking grains with a dairy product doesn't actually break down the phytic acid, so what would be the point?  They were delicious and the kids even ate the  leftovers for breakfast this morning.  Tonight we are having baked ziti for dinner.   It is really easy to make, though, and my children love it!  We are also having broccoli slaw.  I just tasted it and it is delicious.

Baked Ziti

8 -16 oz ziti depending on how saucy you would like it to be- I used 16. (penne or another similarly shaped noodle would work as well)
26 oz spaghetti sauce
15 oz ricotta
2 cups of cheese (mozzarella or white cheddar)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Boil pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, mix sauce and cheeses in a bowl.
Drain pasta and return to pot.  Add sauce mixture.  Spoon (I pour) into a 9x13 pan and cover with parchment and then foil.  Bake 45 minutes or until edges are bubbly.  Once done, you can also sprinkle additional cheese on top and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.  I usually skip this.

I don't know how many servings this makes, but we are a family of six and we have plenty left over.  You can make it more healthy by making your own sauce rather than store bought and using a whole grain pasta.  I use raw white cheddar cheese and I am hoping to make my own ricotta from our raw milk so I can try it in this recipe.  Store bought ricotta has fillers in it that I am not so sure I want to be eating.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

meal planning

I have still been struggling with what to eat.  My sister just announced on her blog that she and her husband are eating a raw diet.  I had no idea.  So I spoke with her about it.  It is nice to have someone to lean on when it comes to diet changes.  We may not be eating the same things, but we both will have diets high in fruits and vegetables (and that is what I struggle with the most).  I have been searching for recipes that I can serve for dinner that have lots of vegetable and little to no meat.  I am not too concerned about dairy, since we mostly use it in cooking and baking.  I don't drink milk- I haven't since I was a young child.  Something to do with someone drinking out of the milk carton, my mom (or it could have been my dad) saying that was gross and not good for us.  In my usual rationale, I said to myself, "well, if it is so gross and not good for us I won't drink it ever again."  I have drank a few sips of milk in the last few years- mostly to taste the raw milk.  I just prefer water- I drink it like crazy.  Anyway, I have found some recipes.  I set up a meal plan for the next 10 days (I do menus by pay periods instead of weeks, and I am starting this one a little late).  So to help me actually make the menus, as well as stick to them, I am going to be posting my menu plans (along with links to recipes).  I am just starting with dinners, because that is what I'm having the hardest time figuring out.  I make bread and we eat sandwiches, toast, or just plain bread for lunch.  For breakfast I make muffins, we have eggs and toast, or I make pancakes or waffles.  I use freshly ground whole spelt flour in place of any other flour and rapadura (sucanat) in place of sugar in all the food I make.  This will be a huge improvement in our vegetable intake.

Wednesday     twice baked potatoes/
               hot dog potatoes with
               creamed spinach
Thursday      baked ziti with cabbage and lime salad
Friday        pizza pockets
Saturday      cheesy beef and rice
Sunday        mac and cheese with kale chips
Monday        tacos in a sleeping bag
               (making my own dough)
Tuesday       baked potato soup with
               broccoli slaw
Wednesday     leek and swiss chard tart with
               not your mama's cole slaw
               or dead simple slaw
Thursday      potato and zucchini pancakes
Friday        spinach quiche with 
               potato tortilla

Just so you know, twice baked potatoes and hot dog potatoes are the same thing.  I just have extra potato and not enough skins, so I cut a hot dog in half lengthwise leaving a tiny bit attached down the length and then spread it open and top it with potato.  We top all of them with cheese (except the ones for Ashley) and then put it in the oven to melt the cheese and warm the hot dogs.  We have hot dogs, at most, twice a month because they are fairly processed.

Friday, July 1, 2011

it's hard

I seem to keep being pulled back to eating things I would really prefer not to eat.  I think preparing all of our food is time consuming and I need to have a life.  I am sure that once I get used to it all I can make a plan that will streamline my time in the kitchen (I hope).  So today I have decided that I need to make only one change per week.  That gives me a whole week to incorporate it into my schedule.  Maybe then I won't feel so overwhelmed?  I am great for a day or two, cooking and baking up a storm.  Then I a feel like I just need a break and don't want to look at the kitchen for a day or two.  It never ends well.

In the Word of Wisdom we learn that we should eat "every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof."  We should eat meat sparingly.  "Grain is good for the food of man", it "is ordained for the use of man", "to be the staff of life."
Based on this, here are the changes I would like to make.Eliminate all refined foods.
Eat more vegetables.
Eat more fruit.
Eat less meat.
Eat sourdough bread.
Eat all grains either soaked or sourdough based.
Use only natural sweetener- honey, maple syrup, and rapadura/sucanat.
Give up candy!!!!

I have started making my own breads and crackers from whole grains, but sometimes I get lazy or I will eat refined grains if it is being served.  Pasta is one of the things I am not so sure about.  I am not into whole wheat, and would much prefer to use whole spelt.  I need to delve into making my own pasta.

I have switched over to rapadura and honey, but have yet to make anything with maple syrup.  I would like to start using honey in more recipes instead of rapadura as well.

I have begun taking the kids to the store and let them pick fruits to buy.  They enjoy it and I know they will eat what we get.  I am trying to stick with organic fruit when it comes to apples, peaches, and grapes.  I don't buy berries or cherries often, but would like to buy organic as well with these.

I bought some kale and chard this week.  I am going to try kale chips.  They are supposedly delicious, but I just don't know.  I love kale, but it just seems a bit strange.  I will let you know how they are.  I guess I should be buying organic greens instead, but I guess anything is better than nothing.  I should carry a "Buy Only Organic" card so I can remember what foods contain the most chemicals if not organic.  I have switched to only buying organic potatoes.  As far as organic goes, I am starting with the "dirty dozen."  I have to make sure I can fit all of this into my grocery budget, after all!

I don't eat a whole lot of meat- at least, not compared to most of the people I know.  I don't eat it every day.  When I do eat it, it most often is in small amounts.  Occasionally I will eat a lot at one sitting.  I am sure that I could eat it even less than I do now.  I am aiming for one serving of meat no more than 1-2 times per week- and by serving I mean 3-4 ounces.  I try not to eat chicken.  I don't eat pork (we all get sick every time we have eaten it).  The meat we buy is grass fed or free range, hormone free, roaming the land!

This week's change:  I will not eat any refined grains.  If I don't make it, I will just have to skip it!  Okay, so there might be some grain products that are already made that I could eat.  I've had really great whole grain bread with no fillers, but at $6.00 a loaf I am much better off making it myself.  It doesn't take that much effort!

Monday, June 27, 2011

slow going

I had to stop taking most of the herbs I was taking.  It was too much too quickly.  I continued with the echinacea and goldenseal formula for the two weeks.  Then I added the Immune Support formula.  By the end of the week I also added milk thistle.  This week I will start taking half the amount recommended of the rest of the herb formulas.  I haven't noticed any big difference in how I feel over the past two weeks, but I also haven't eaten very well due to traveling and attending a wedding.  I did, however, eat better than I normally do when flying.  I usually stock up on chips and red vines, but I passed on those this time and packed some home made graham crackers for Drew and myself.  That was a step in the right direction for me.  I did eat a donut yesterday morning.  It made me sick!  I won't make that mistake again. 
I am really struggling with all the time and effort it takes to prepare all of our food.  For me, it is a lot of hard work to keep up with four kids, clean, and make all our food.  I am thinking that I need to organize my time better.  I also don't have good recipes for dinner.  The traditional foods crowd tends to eat a lot of meat, but I want to limit our meat intake to 1-2 times per week at most.  I need to fine meatless meal ideas that my children will love.

Monday, June 13, 2011

new start

I spent all of last week eating junk! ugh.  I felt horrible all week long. 
Today was a new start.

Back in February I ordered a lot of herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.  I bought the herbs so that I could start the protocol that Angela Harris used to cure her cancer.  You can read about it and find the formulas at her website.  They are free.  I know I don't have cancer, but I did have the final stage of precancerous cells that had to be removed last year.  My mother died of breast cancer almost eight years ago.  I know too many people who are fairly young with cancer.  I don't want to risk it.  I'm not waiting till I have it, I am going to fight it before it hits. 

I finally got all of the herb encapsulated and last night I got the system cleanse tea ready to go.  Today I started it all.  If you ever need to do this TAKE DIGESTIVE ENZYMES!  I had some.  I thought about taking them.  I didn't.  I felt so sick this evening!  As the yeast is dieing off you will get nauseated.  It can be bad.  Taking the enzymes (I take 3 at a time instead of 1 with meals) is supposed to prevent that.  Of course, any time you are getting rid of toxins in your body as this does, you are probably going to have some side effects.  I am expecting to be sick, tired, weak, sick, sick....  I don't know exactly what will come, but I am sure that in the end I will be so much better because of this. 

Of course, while taking all these herbs I am following her protocol as far as diet.  Wholesome foods, whole foods.  No meat (I might have it once or twice a week), raw dairy, lots of veggies and fruit, nuts and legumes, whole grains and very little natural sugars.  Today I really wasn't all that hungry.  Taking these things in capsule form means I take 15 capsules 3 times a day and then today I was taking the echinacea/goldenseal formula every hour.  That one affects my stomach the most.  I did manage to eat a hearty dinner of beans and rice with onion and green pepper.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to eat more.  Fruit is really about the only thing that sounds good to me at this point.

This wasn't some random thing I came up with.  I have prayed and studied, and prayed some more.  It isn't for everyone.  I didn't just stop at Angela's story and what she had on her website.  I have researched almost all of the herbs individually to see what they do.  I have studied about nutrition, food, how the body works.  I am by no means and expert, but I know what is right for me.  I encourage anyone who wants to improve their health to study and read.  Learn as much as you can.  Then decide what is best for you.  Eating whole foods is a great start and is vitally important for everyone.  Wholesome vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (there are many other grains than just wheat) with plenty of good fats are vital!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The past weekend was a difficult one.  I did not stick to whole foods.  Monday was even worse!  I felt so yucky this morning.  It is amazing how much better I feel when I heat better.  I am definitely inspired to continue on in my quest for healthy eating.  My problem is that it is so much work.  I have to make EVERYTHING!  Breakfast isn't quick and easy when it isn't just pouring cold cereal into a bowl and topping it with milk.  I have to think ahead.  I usually try for muffins or bread, but I haven't done it the past few days.  I think I'm going to have to start baking in large batches and freezing it.  Then I won't have to bake every day.  I need to come up with a plan, or a schedule.  Once I've been doing this longer hopefully it will become easier- more second nature?

Monday, May 30, 2011

oatmeal raisin cookies

My oldest, Ashley, has a cookbook.  It is Kit's Cooking Studio.  Kit is an American Girl doll and Ashley loves all American Girl dolls.  She pulled out this book the other day and has been itching to make something from it.  We decided to make the oatmeal raisin cookies.  Of course, we changed it to fit our new whole foods lifestyle.  We used freshly ground whole spelt flour and sucanat in place of both brown and granulated sugar.  We also made half of them with chocolate chips instead of raisins because she doesn't like raisins.  The cookies are flat, as all my spelt cookies tend to be, but they kids are sure enjoying them!  They aren't quite as sweet as most cookies, but I think the less sugary food we eat the more we will appreciate that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

snacks for my one year old

My son is 18 months old.  He is a growing boy with a huge appetite.  Having three skinny little girls who eat like birds, I was not prepared for this.  He is CONSTANTLY hungry.  With my girls, I would have given them store bought graham crackers, Goldfish, or Cheerios.  Since I am trying to eat only whole foods, these just won't do.  So what do I feed this little guy?  Sure, I cut up apples or feed him applesauce, but fruit just isn't filling enough for this little boy.  So today I made some graham crackers at home.  I used this recipe found at  I used whole spelt flour instead of whole wheat, using about a 1/4 cup extra flour.  It was a huge hit.  The boy had one in hand almost constantly for the rest of the day!  The girls loved them as well.  We had one little cracker left when they went to bed.  One of these days I will post a picture, but for now just head over to and make up a batch of these tasty snacks!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I survived!

Okay, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic.  I did survive my two days though.  I ate lots of green beans with onions.  Cooked in butter.  I had a baked potato for dinner on Monday night.  With butter and salt- no sour cream, which I love.  I was still starving though, so I bought some peanut butter.  The ingredients in the peanut butter were butter and salt.  I ate that whole jar of peanut butter in just 24 hours.  I didn't really want to eat just a handful of nuts, so peanut butter was nice.  I could dip veggies (just celery really) in it, or eat it with a spoon strait out of the jar.  I did want some Oreos on Monday, but I just told myself it was only two days and pressed on.  Tuesday I was just fine.  I didn't have any sugar cravings at all.  Normally, I can't go even a day without massive sugar cravings.  This is how I knew the Pau d'Arco was working.

So today starts my whole foods journey.  I have been eating plenty of whole foods my whole life.  The difference now is that I will be eating ONLY whole foods for at least a month.  After the month of detox (as I like to call it) I won't be serving any processed foods, but if I am at someone's house and they serve me something I will eat it.  I talked with the kids about it yesterday.  We talked about what a whole food is versus processed food.  They were very upset that I won't be buy Oreos anymore.  Alona asked in a very sad voice, "what will we have for desserts, then?"  I assured her that we could have ice cream made from raw milk and cream using honey, cookies using sucanat or rapadura, cake, brownies, etc. but that it would all be made from scratch at home using real ingredients.  I then told them that when they are at someone else' house they can eat whatever they are serving.  If they are given Oreos, they can eat them!  They felt much better after I told them this.  I figure if I am feeding them good, nourishing food at home every day then occasional not so good food won't be so bad. Right?

Hamburgers are on the menu tonight, so I ground some spelt flour in my wheat grinder for buns and pulled some grass fed beef out of the freezer.  Now I just have to figure out how to make healthier ketchup.  You know, without corn syrup.  Hmm...

Monday, May 23, 2011

it starts today

As part of my "get healthy" program that started today, I am following part of the protocol at Herbal Legacy for systemic yeast overgrowth.  I am taking two days to kill of the yeast and then I will start on my new whole foods diet.  The two days are the first procedure listed in the protocol.  It calls for a decoction made of Pau d'Arco and black walnut hulls simmered in water, drinking a quart per day, while eating only vegetables, nuts and sprouted legumes.  I attempted to do to the entire protocol about a month ago, but I couldn't handle going that long with only vegetables.  So I have devised a program that I think I can live with and will still benefit my health.  After these first two days, I will be eating a strictly whole foods diet while taking herb formulas I found at  I plan to incorporate most of the formulas on her website along with probiotics and a glass of kefir every morning. 

Now I'm off to go eat more veggies.  They only seem to keep me full for about an hour!  Its a good thing it is only for 2 days!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


A friend gave me some kefir grains a week or so ago.  I had never tried kefir (pronounced keh-fear) before.  Jeff had tried some of the store bought flavored stuff and liked it.  So I read up on how to make kefir with the grains I had, how to store it, and its health benefits.  I decided it was time to see how it worked.  So I puts a couple tablespoons of kefir grains in a quart mason jar, covered it with 2 cups of raw milk, stirred, and let it sit.  24 hours later I strained the grains out and had fresh kefir.  We decided to refrigerate it and try it chilled.  Jeff and I had a glass at dinner.  All but one of the kids had a sip.  It was too tart for their tastes.  While Jeff and I don't love the taste, it isn't so horrible that we can't drink it.  I'm hoping it is an acquired taste!

I already knew that cultured foods are really good for our bodies.  Most people have heard about the good bacteria (or cultures) in yogurt.  Some have even heard of these bacteria being referred to as probiotics.  If you are unfamiliar with beneficial bacteria or probiotics, I recommend learning about them.  Our bodies have bacteria and yeasts in them and they should be balanced.  The good bacteria and yeasts (not the kind you use to make bread) keep the bad ones in check.  Sometimes the bad ones take over and we have an imbalance.  Kefir and other cultured products can help to restore that balance.  You can also buy expensive probiotics in the store.  The benefit of kefir versus yogurt is that kefir has move variety of bacteria as well as healthy yeasts whereas yogurt has only a very few bacteria and no yeast. An overgrowth of bad yeast (candida) can cause thrush in babies and nursing moms, yeast infections, and is the cause of many of the illnesses that we suffer today- food allergies being one of them.  Most people may not believe that a systemic yeast infection can cause food allergies, but I will tell you why it does.  When yeast takes over in your gut it grows "roots" that create holes.  Undigested proteins go through these holes and into the bloodstream.  Your body attacks these proteins because they are foreign.  This is an allergic reaction.  Now, this isn't to say that there are no other possible causes of food allergies.

There are many reasons that yeast has the ability to take over in our systems.  We drink water with chlorine.  Chlorine kills beneficial bacteria in our system.  We eat so much refined sugar in our diet.  Yeast feeds on sugar.  In fact, it feeds on any kind of sugar - fruit, lactose in milk, sugars in grains.  So kefir and other cultured foods are a must in this day and age if we want to keep our systems in balance.

Over the Christmas holiday in 2009, our family got hit with a horrible stomach flu.  We refer to it as the Great Plague of 2009.  It was probably a form of salmonella or e-coli picked up by my then 3 year old Natalie while we were traveling.  As much as we washed our hands, it didn't seem to matter.  Drew was 4 weeks old.  The plague left us with thrush.  Natalie and I were sick for a few weeks.  It seemed to come and go.  It was THE WORST illness I have ever experienced.  No one else got it as bad as the two of us.  I honestly believe that our systems have not been in balance since that time.

I am now on a mission to fix this.  We are changing our eating habits.  I plan to introduce more cultured foods into our diets.  I plan to try lacto fermented vegetables, which include sauerkraut.  I'm hoping that fresh, homemade sauerkraut is better than the canned stuff you can buy at the store.  We are also going to eliminate the use of refined sugars.  I will be using sucanat, honey, and maple syrup.  I already grind my own whole grain flour, but I intend to make sourdough breads or soak our grains to aid in digestion.  I have attempted to make a sourdough starter several times, but it just hasn't worked out.  5th time is the charm, right?  I'm going to get it one of these days! 

All of these new ways of preparing food require more time and effort.  Most of the time involved doesn't actually require me to be standing there doing actual work, so maybe it is more planning that is really required.  I have learned what to do, and now I have to learn to DO IT.  That is the hard part- at least for me.  So here we go.  Kefir was the first step.  I am now drinking 8 ounces each day.  My next step is to eliminate white sugar and stick to only whole grains.  I have been about half and half on the whole grains and it is time to step it up!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


My mother got sick.  She had breast cancer.  In researching her options, she decided that traditional treatments- chemotherapy and radiation- were not for her.  She had watched friends struggle through those treatments.  She watched them die.  With a two year old daughter, she wanted to live a normal life.  So she read books.  She studied and prayed.  She felt strongly that she should try alternative methods to rid herself of her cancer.  She tried to change her eating habits.  I think she struggled with that.  In the end, she lost the battle.   Along the way, she shared the knowledge she had learned with her family. 

After her funeral, my father talked to the family about his beliefs.  He felt that the foods we eat truly are important.  He urged us to heed his advice.  Since then I have been trying to learn more about diet, nutrition and health.  Diet isn't something we do, it is what we eat.  Over the last year I have learned even more.  As I study and seek guidance from the Lord, I feel that I know what I should do to help my family become and stay healthy.   I am grateful that I have been given so many resources to help in our journey.

I want to live a long, healthy life.  I want to be here for my children and grandchildren.  I want my children to be healthy.  These are my reasons for this journey.