January 30, 2012

I can't believe I let two weeks go by without blogging....eh, oh well. :) We celebrated Judah's birthday yesterday. I can't believe he is already 3...where has the time gone??? He is such a cutie and I love every moment of our lives. We celebrated with lunch with my parents and yummy Gluten Free Chocolate cupcakes with a Paleo chocolate frosting....YUM! Hopefully I will post pics asap...but at this rate, who know! LOL

January 16, 2012

Wowza Week

This last week was my first week back to school since the holidays. Oh my was it a doozy! I have 20 credits this term and only one of those classes am I really truly concerned about passing...anybody that loves math is welcome to help me with my Math 111 class!! My other classes, for those truly interested, are First Session of Anatomy & Physiology, Writing 121, EMS Rescue & Transportation and the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician(This one is 6 months long!). John has been amazing, as usual, with the running of our home and managing the children while I have been pulling my hair out trying to get used to the new schedule. I was completely unorganized this time around and I didn't even get my books ordered until Wednesday...terrible, I know! The biggest problem I had this term was actually finances. Although I receive a Pell Grant that covers all my tuition and books, plus some, this term posed a challenge. I wanted to take the AEMT course, but it is not a degree-seeking course which means...I have to pay for it. After I applied my leftover financial aid, which was required by the college, I had no money left for books and a small remaining balance for tuition. I was feeling very stressed about the situation, but knew God wanted me to take this course as it had been on my heart. Early in the fall, I learned I was going to qualify for a scholarship from a neighboring community hospital, the amount was only for half the total scholarship, $205. This scholarship had not been applied to my account yet and although it wouldn't cover all my books...every little bit helps. I called the person in charge of the scholarships at the college and left her a voice message....then I went to the car and cried. This was the first time in the last year and half that I was really unsure of how we were going to get me through school. I knew God had it in control though, so I wiped away the tears and went about my morning. An hour or so later I had missed a call and had a voice message...it was from the scholarship people. The woman left me a message saying that she would be applying my scholarship that day and get this...she had looked at my schedule and felt that I needed the entire scholarship of $510 since I had such a full schedule and was so hard working!!! I couldn't believe it, so.....I cried some more. God is so amazing. I was able to pay for all my tuition and my books without spending a dime out-of-pocket!!

Here is the next great thing about this story...I found out after I had been awarded the scholarship that it was a memorial scholarship for a dear family friend who had passed away the year before. My husband had known the woman and her family for many years when my father-in-law was in ministry years ago. John and I had later re-connected with the family when we first were married and attended the same church. The woman had been hit by a delivery truck in a horrific accident and survived for some time before passing away. She was a woman who was driven by her faith and family, served her community and was a friend to all. I was overwhelmingly honored when I learned I had received this scholarship. God is SO good.

Obviously, I had a somewhat stressful week...so eating was an interesting experience. I had decided at the beginning of the year to do a sugar detox. After about a week, I decided that since I had just started the Paleo thing in early December and detoxed already, the more intense detox was just making more freaked out, especially with all the stresses of school and finances. I bailed on the detox Day 8. I have to say that this hard-working girl HATES not finishing things I start. It makes me bonkers. I am an all or nothing type. So, I have just worked extra hard to stick to the Paleo...which I have to say, has been fairly easy...especially since I got rid of all the non-Paleo items in our home :)

The food: Most days we start with eggs, veggies and fruit. I have nuts/seeds for a snack or some dried fruit. Lunches are usually leftovers from the night before-if there are any left! Dinners we have tried lately- Shepard's Pie, Spaghetti, Salmon, Steak, Chicken Thighs and a veggie fry, Spinach salad, Hot wings and potato fries, Turkey &Mashed sweet potatoes.

I haven't officially started working out yet. I felt like I wanted to do one thing at a time-first get a handle on how I eat, then incorporate some exercise. I have been craving the need to run. I want to run, I think about it, I dream about it. The problem, the last few times I have set out to do it...the weather or schedule hasn't cooperated!! I have to make it happen soon...but the snow just started falling today. I guess there will always be something to get us distracted or off-course, right? So my goal for the rest of January is to at least go a running a few times! I really want to get myself fit again so I can try to get back into the fire fighting (didn't know I used to be a fire fighter, did you?? lol).

Good luck with all your goals this week! I am down close to 20 pounds and at least 2 sizes and this is week 6 of Paleo!!!

January 5, 2012

A day in my life

I thought I would just do a short run down of what I ate today.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, scrammbled with onion and a handfull of spinich, 2 slices bacon, coffee

Lunch: Leftover Kremer's Cold Killer Soup

Dinner: Paleo Lasagna

I didn't snack today because I was feeling like I might be getting a cold AND I have been doing a Sugar Detox which I think is why I felt icky.

Here is what the kids had:

Breakfast: "Cereal" made of pulsed Almonds and cranberries and topped with Coconut milk.
Snack: Banana

Lunchbox(older kids): Leftover Soup, Carrot stix with Paleo mayo, trail mix(I made)
Little kids: Nitrate free turkey, fruit gummies , sliced orange, scrambled egg

Little kids snack: Almonds and cranberries; later Sliced apple and almond butter.

Big Kids After School Snack: Organic Golden Apple

Dinner: Paleo Lasagna

Nothing to fancy-schmancy....just real food!

January 3, 2012

What to do about those kids!

As I have previously shared, and some may already know, our family is no stranger to a somewhat restrictive diet. We have waivered from time to time how strictly we followed, but nonetheless, it was there. For many years our kids ate little to no wheat, minimal amounts of refined or processed sugar, and rarely drank cow's milk. I used to feel very bad about not letting have the "fun" stuff. But, I came to a realization after this summer: it's not fun. After letting my kids chow down on hot dogs and ice cream, candy or summer desserts, their moods changed almost instantly. They would whine and cry over the stupidest things. They became disobedient and rude. My oldest son, who was 7 at the time, would get emotional and then quickly get a headache in his eyes and a constant place on his head. Shortly after telling me his head was hurting, we are talking 20-30 minutes, he would begin to vomit-for hours. In the last year, this has probably happened at least half a dozen times. He would be so sick sometimes, that he would have to have IV fluids. Looking back, I can specifically remember what led up to each episode- eating the "fun" stuff.

We spent some time talking to our kids about how they were feeling. Other than the emotional and behavioral changes, they would also get diarrhea, headaches, and just feel icky. We decided as a family that this wasn't good. The kids agreed and were on board with changing things too.

This week I was trying to come up with some good ideas for the kid's lunchboxes. I stumbled upon this blog. Not only was their family story great, but they were a Christian family just like ours trying to live not only a healthy spiritual life, but a healthy physical life. Plus, she boldly states that her kitchen is rarely clean...I love that!

In her blog, Mrs. Grok has posted over 140 lunchbox posts, which include a picture and list of what she made her two preK girls and sometimes her hubby for lunch. It gave me so many great ideas! Right now we aren't doing dairy, but their family is ok with whole and raw milk cheese and yogurt(I am hoping after another month of cleaning out our bodies we can slowly add this as well). I have taken some of her ideas and tweaked them for my kids the last two days and so far, so good.

The biggest thing I have found for our family, is that we may not eat Paleo/Primal by the textbook at all times, but we are pretty darn close and that is just perfect for me! We will learn as we go along and even if we don't do things perfectly, we are still eating better than we ever have in our lives and if you EVER see me in the grocery store and I have anything that resembles a box or jar or can of processed crap....slap me.
(There is a link to the above mentioned site on my blog list also. Right over there ---->>)

January 2, 2012

No doubting here...

These last few days have been interesting. I haven't really missed the "bad" foods, I feel great, I am still losing....I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Why can't I just be satisfied and call it a success? Because I am woman. I have this ridiculous habit of second-guessing my success at most things. I find myself wondering if I really can achieve my scholastic goals, home goals, relational goals and yes, most definitely my health goals.

The truth is....I am successful. I am awesome wife and best friend to my husband. I am an amazing mother to my four children. I am a caring and thoughtful friend to those who are close to me. I am a hard-working, Dean's List earning college student. I am a freshman to the world of Paleo, but I have been successful this far. I have not gained one pound, I have not felt worse than before Paleo, I have slept better than before I had kids(a miracle in it's self).
I am a beautiful, wonderful, joyful gift and child of God. Only He knows the purpose He has for me, therefore I will continue to seek Him in everything and trust that He has led us down this path for His purpose only.

Isn't it great to know that someone greater and bigger than you are is there to guide you through every step?!

Ok...now to the food, because we all know it's about food!

In one of my previous posts I talked about our awesome deal on turkeys. Well, we called around to a couple of our friends who had smokers and found out that in their specific smokers, the temperature wouldn't be high enough to kill the bacteria. So on to Plan B, smoke them in our oven. I had some leftover Hickory chips from a smoking project this summer. I soaked the chips in water overnight and then removed the liquid the next morning. I set the oven (ours is gas) to 250 degrees and put the turkey in a roasting pan with a little of the brine liquid and placed it on the rack above the chips in the oven. Every couple hours John or I would baste the turkey with it's juices. After about 5 hours, I checked the temp of the turkey and decided to increase the oven temp to 275 degrees. An hour later, the turkey temp was still not where it needed to be so I bumped the oven up to 300 degrees for one last hour. Finally! The internal temp of the turkey reached 165 degrees.
This is the turkey about half way through the process.

This is the finished product! Yummy!!

Our lunch yesterday was soooo yummy! We got some all natural Hot Chicken Sausage at the store and made a burger out of it. I took two avocados and a tablespoon of Paleo mayo with some lime and made the guacamole/mayo on top. We had to have some veggies too and since I need to go to the store all I had was some lettuce and mushrooms I sauteed in the drippings from the burger.

And finally....Sunday morning breakfast was so good-At least that's what the kids said! I decided to fore go the sweet pancakes. I made Applesauce Pancakes and eggs.

AppleSauce Pancakes
1/2 C applesauce, unsweetened
2-3 eggs
1/4 C almond meal(adjust for consistency)
Cinnamon to taste