Saturday, January 23, 2010


So, it's the weekend and almost a full week since I decided to swear off processed foods. It's going much better than i thought it would be. Thursday I was able to get to the fruit market and grocery store, and since then I have been making all our meals from scratch and the kids have been LOVING all the fruits and veges I let them have in between meals. I thought there would be an outcry for crackers, etc., but thankfully I haven't heard a single child ask for some (although they did find a stray pack of crackers the other day. Maybe it was enough to feed their cravings??).

Yesterday was my first big meal, and i made a fall-back dinner. Pot roast. I can make a pot roast in my sleep. I want to try soaking the roast in buttermilk for 48 hours before i cook it, but I had forgetten this step until i was assembling my ingredients yesterday. The buttermilk is supposed to help pre-digest the meat and break it down, thereby making it easier to digest. It sounds like it would add some good flavor, too.

Amerie is not a big roast eater, but she loves the potatoes and carrots. I need to figure out how to get her to eat red meat. She loves chicken, though. She'll eat it all day long, seasoned or not.

Today, Phil is taking the kids overnight, so I will not have them for dinner. We'll be eating lunch in a few minutes, and I ave made Potato Leek soup (my own recipe). The first time i made this soup, i thought for sure the kids would turn their noses up, but they each had at least two bowls of it! Apparently Potato Leek soup is supposed to be pureed and chilled, but I serve it warm and only "mashed." And so, my kids think it's "Mashed Potato Soup." The consistency is thinner than mashed potatoes (it is a soup, after all), but it's incredibly yummy!

Here's the recipe...

Mashed Potato Soup

4 leeks, peeled, cleaned, and finely chopped

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp olive oil

4 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes

2 quarts chicken stock (homemade is best)

several sprigs of thyme, tied together

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Saute the leeks in the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat until soft, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and chop your potatoes. When leeks are soft, add potatoes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. A bit of foam will rise to the top (I am told this is the "impurities"), skim this off with a spoon. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Lower heat to just above a simmer and let the potatoes cook for about an hour. After the hour, mash the potatoes with a potatoe masher. The soup is now done, but i like to keep it simmering until it has a thicker consistency.

Spoon into bowls and let cool a bit. Enjoy!!!

I will try posting pictures soon, but I have to figure out how. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I am very sleepy. I posted last night's blog at midnight and then didn't crawl into bed until 1:00 am. I have definitely learned that the amount of sleep I get affects my entire day, and snowballs into affecting the type of day my kids have. I also have a harder time making good decisions and thinking clearly when my brain is foggy.

I'm taking a class at my church that my mom is teaching. I helped her pick the workbook, and the one we chose is incredible (which is why we chose it!!). It's called "A Woman After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George. In just a couple of weeks, I have noticed such growth in my relationship with the Lord. One thing that Elizabeth George recommends is to get up before your family and spend some time in prayer. This was very hard to do, and I've only done it a couple of times. But on the days I got up and spent some time in God's presence before proceeding with my day, I had such a blessed day! Nothing much was different, but I felt His presence with me throughout the entire day and as a result felt more able to conquer "life." Today, I got up with my kids and can't find the motivation to get anything done. I'm so very, very sleepy.

So...I could stay up late, and wander through my days. Or I could find some self-discipline and crawl into bed at a reasonable hour, so that I may rise early and spend quality time in His Presence before I live the life He's given me. Which one should I choose???

I have a preschooler I need to get from school soon, so, alas, i must be going. But I want to end with a scripture I came across recently. One thing I have been asking the Lord for repeatedly is self-discipline. I feel I have very little, and that if He would give me some, then maybe i would have a much easier time being the woman He's called me to be.

II Timothy 1:7 says, "God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline"

So there it is! I already have it!! That one verse really opened my eyes. I've merely been making excuses for myself. And if He's given me a spirit of power, of love, AND self-discipline, what can i not accomplish, with His blessing? I can't wait to find out. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wow! Already?

So it has been just two full days since I "made the switch." I have to be honest and say that i didn't go cold turkey. I have such a hard time with the idea of all that food going to waste, but I know it's so bad for us. I am struggling with this. But this morning we woke up a little late and instead of making a healthy breakfast, like eggs, toast, and yoghurt, I gave the kids cereal. :/ I know that if the junk was gone, replaced by healthier, more natural foods, we would be making wiser choices. So I planned some meals for the next week and I will be hitting the grocery store and fruit market.

As to the kids behavior...I am already seeing a change!! I am not naive enough to think that it's going to be this easy. They're certainly not going to turn into little angels simply because I feed them nourishing food (wouldn't it be nice, though??). But I had such a good day with my babies today. :) Especially with my son. He is active by nature, downright hyper on sugar, and sometimes unbearably crabby when he's hungry. He was wonderful today! I admitted that I fed them regular cereal this morning, but he asked for a bowl of Kashi cereal (the boy loves it). For lunch, I gave them some chicken from a rotisserie chicken we had purchased, youghurt, an apple, and a banana. Tonight, I made lentil soup with sourdough bread (store-bought sourdough, not authentic). Just for some comparison, Saturday they had Lucky Charms for breakfast, snacked on granola bars, ate Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup for lunch, with Chicken 'n a Biscuit crackers, snacked later on poptarts, and had leftover pizza for dinner. Admitting how I fed them on Saturday was very hard for me to do just now. I know better than that. And how shocking it was to me that it took them over an hour to fall asleep Saturday night, even though I was constantly yelling at them. :-( They had fought and whined and yelled and sassed me all day long, by 8:00 I had neeeeded them to fall asleep. Today was SO MUCH BETTER. Andrew listened to me, which in turn made me more patient. He was also so much more affectionate. When I would try to talk to him for fighting with his sister or throwing a tantrum, he actually listened and then wanted to hug and cuddle, instead of trying to run away from me and bouncing around the entire time I was talking. I also found it much easier to talk quietly with them, rather than lose my patience and resort to yelling.

It's so hard for me to explain their positive behavior, since you are unaware of the behaviors i am comparing to. I also know that tomorrow could be just like Saturday, even though I am taking them off of sugar and prepackaged foods. Kids are kids, and every day is a surprise. :) But I will keep updating, along with all of the other changes going on.

And as for me, this is harder than I thought it was going to be, but I am not giving up. When you're a child, you rarely get to choose what you are going to eat. As an adult, it's usually the yummy-but-so-bad-for-you stuff that calls your name, and there's no one there to stop you from eating it. When we were growing up, my mom would by 12-packs of coke and we were allowed ONE can per day. I remember the day when i realized that I could have as many cans as i wanted, since I was an adult and had purchased the pop myself. That one can has gradually turned into as many as 6-7 cans per day on a regular basis. It's so bad, my mom once paid me $100 just to go a whole month without Coke (and, of course, I did it!). I love Coca-Cola. I love anything chocolate and full of calories. I've been known to eat at McDonalds 3 times in one day. This is not an easy change for me. But I want to be an example to my children. I want to teach them how to cook healthy, traditional food. I want them to naturally choose healthy eating when they are grown and making their own choices. And I firmly believe that this is something the Lord has layed on my heart.

With all that said, I must be going. I have grocery shopping to do tomorrow, along with sorting through the cupboards. At the least, I'm hiding the temptations. Out of sight, out of mind, right? I hope so!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year, New Start (even if it's a little late...)

So...I'm not very good at blogging. :-/ But I'm going to really, really, REALLY try to be better. :-)

There are so many changes going on in our lives right now. Some I'm making, some the Lord is making, and some are simply changes that happen over time.

One change that I am implementing is the way the kids and I eat. We've really fallen off the wagon, healthwise, and I think my kids crazy, moody behavior lately is a result. As much as I hate typical American fare, I have to admit that our cupboards are currently stocked with sugary breakfast cereals, poptarts, microwave popcorn, every type of cracker you can imagine, and dozens of jars of store-bought baby food. Why? Laziness. Plain and simple. It's so much easier to grab a poptart or pour a bowl of cold cereal when my kids are hungry than plan ahead and make everything from scratch. And the result? Whiny, crabby kids that have pale skin and dark circles. Your typical American child.

I highly recommend the book "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. It's based on the research of Dr. Weston Price, who traveled the world and studied the health, longevity, reproduction rates, illness, etc. of many civilizations who were untouched by modern society, and consumed, almost excusively, local foods. The facts he discovered are unbelievable! Fourteen groups in particular were found to be entirely free from dental problems, disease, and mental illnesses. Theses fourteen groups were from all over the world, and each had different diets. But one thing they each had in common...they consumed whole-dairy, saturated fats, meats, fruits and veges, nuts, seeds, and whole-grains. Their food was completely untouched by processing, much of it was eaten raw. The adults were strong and healthy, the children sturdy and vibrant. Women had healthy, stable pregnancies.

We're supposed to be an advanced, intelligent society and yet we spend billions every year on finding the cure for cancers, diabetes, heart disease. On medical bills due to illness; some mild, some severe. We're always tired, always aching. We can't sleep, or we need to sleep too much. We're depressed. And yet these "primitive" cultures, far less advanced than us, have stronger, sturdier, healthier bodies. Their children are rosy cheeked and full of life. Women have many children, healthy children that are the result of a healthy pregnancy. If we would stop turning away from an uncomfortable truth, we could see how confused America is about food.

Ameicans want it easy. Pop-tarts are easy. Americans want to pretend that things just happen, and there is nothing they could have done to prevent it. Heart disease, obesity, and cancer don't "happen" as often as we suffer from it. These cultures don't even suffer from cavities!!! I hardly know an adult who is blessed with a mouth free of fillings.

I am going to be honest. Changing to traditional foods is hard work. I am taking on the responsiblity of making almost everything we eat from scratch, and having to plan all our meals in advance. I have four young children. I am TIRED. I'm certainly not relishing the thought of more to do. I'm also broke. Really, really broke (hello...single mother of four, thank you). But my children are worth it. They are everything to me, and if I can maybe (just maybe) prevent Andrew from developing the heart disease that claims every male member of his father's family, or Amerie from the diagnosis of breast cancer, Aimee from diabetes, or Lexi from depression and fatigue, I am going to give it everything I have. Which means making the food we eat a top priority in my life. And my children will slowly grow healthier and stronger, eventually becoming healthy, robust adults. When the day comes that I can look into the faces of my four adult children, I will smile and be proud, knowing that I made a decision in the start of their lives that had an impact on the way they live those lives to the very end.