When The Unexpected Happens {an explanation of my absence}

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We were finally getting into a groove, I was comfortable with cooking clean, nutritious and gluten free meals that my family actually liked. Weekly visits to my chiropractor were significantly helping my digestive system and managing my endometriosis pain.  I was busily planning for homeschooling 1st grade to my daughter, planning fun preschool crafts and projects for my son and training my baby to take a long nap so we could accomplish school in peace. Then it happened. Of course, I should have guessed that because I was getting comfortable with our new routine that a huge curve ball would be thrown into my court. Last month, I found out I was pregnant with our 4th baby.

 

This came as a HUGE surprise. We always wanted four babies, but right now, seriously? My baby just turned one! I will admit, I was completely overwhelmed and felt scared. You see, my pregnancies have typically been very rough. Morning sickness that lasts all day and night for weeks on end, cysts that rupture, babies that want to be born early causing me to go on bed rest, along with all the other joys of pregnancy 🙂 I did not know how I was going to keep our “routine” that we had worked so hard to perfect while growing another baby inside me.

 

Here I am, five weeks later, and we are still “making it”….barely. Morning sickness has been extreme, thus my non-posting for a long time. Cooking has been non-exsistant. But, we have survived. My husband has stepped up so much by slowing down his work schedule so he can be available to help, take- out has been frequent, my six year old daughter has been amazing and served me in so many ways. She helps with breakfast and lunch, changes the occasion diaper when I cannot handle the smells and managed to maintain a happy heart. I love my family.

 

As scared as I am with the thought of managing four babies under six, I cannot help but be humbled and grateful for the opportunity to raise four little people, MY little people. Doctors told me when I was younger that I would never have children. Here I am, pregnant with a healthy fourth baby and we have had no help, beside a surgery to clean out some endometriosis 7 years ago.

 

I am almost nearing the end of my first trimester and I am hoping to be back to posting and cooking soon. For now, it will still be sporadic. We just finished our first week of homeschooling and I am trying to figure out a new normal for our family during this season.

 

I will leave you with an introduction to my new favorite non-GMO company, The Ginger People. They make a variety of different products and some of them have become genuine life savers for me! I encourage you to find their products in your nearest health food store and give them a try! Here is a little more about them:

“Established in 1984, The Ginger People® began its mission to produce the world’s finest range of ginger products and ingredients. Why? Herbalists have used ginger for thousands of years to restore vital energy, stimulate circulation and relieve countless maladies including nausea, headaches and arthritis. Modern science backs what the ancients have known for centuries: Ginger is one of nature’s most powerful herbal remedies. Add in ginger’s versatile flavor and culinary prowess, and it’s clear why we’re passionate about this venerable spice.”

 

Thank you for understanding my absence, you are all the best! I have continued to gain more readers and encouragement from you, even with the lack of posting or new recipes. I love blogging about our journey and hearing from you! Thank you for supporting me.

Day Thirty Two. When Answers Are Not What You Wanted To Hear.

Day Thirty Two.

What a weekend we have had! Sometimes life comes at you so fast you feel like you got blindsided and left for dead. This weekend was one of those… I had a colonoscopy that revealed some unpleasant news, two of my kids got a nasty stomach bug and my littlest is in the middle of teething hell. It has been a fantastic weekend, ha! 🙂

I started this journey a little over a month ago, I have learned so much that I would never change, but it has also been the most challenging month for our family on so many different levels. It seems in my quest for health we have gone through MORE health problems. I feel like we are on a roller coaster and at the moment we are on the huge downward plunge – I guess I just need to hold my hands up, close my eyes and scream until we reach the end and start to climb up again. Sounds like more fun anyways.

We are waiting on several biopsies to confirm for sure, but my initial results revealed Crohn’s Disease. We did catch it at the very beginning, to which I am so thankful, but I was still not ready to hear THAT. I am a young mom, have very small children, have not even been married 10 years yet…I should be in my prime for health and now I am getting slapped with a second disease that has no cure, just management. It was tough to hear.

My Doctor wanted to start me on medication right away to heal my gut. Quick Fact: roughly over 500,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s Disease. In other Countries this number is drastically different. I wonder why….GMO’s perhaps? I am not sure how long I will need to be on the medication, she made mention for several years. My plan is to take it long enough to get my colon healed and then, hopefully, slowly wean myself from it by eating the right foods and continuing the healing through food.

So many thoughts have been running through my head. I am trying to “not even go there” right now and wait for confirmation on the biopsies. The only change I needed to make right away was to stop breast feeding my baby. Wow, I was not ready for how hard that would be or how upset I would be over it!

I had the unique experience to actually SEE inside my gut, to see that damage that has happened in my short 20 something years here on earth. I am even more concerned and passionate about eating healthy and the way God intended us to eat. So, on that note. Here is a good Know Your Ingredients, Name This Product for you. Leave your guesses in the comment section and check back tomorrow for the answer (oh and the results from Bradley’s Endoscopy!).

Know Your Product Icon

#4.

STRAWBERRY FILLING (CORN SYRUP, DEXTROSE, STRAWBERRIES, CRACKER MEAL, APPLES, WEHAT STARCH, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CITRIC ACID, XANTHAN GUM, RED #40), ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, WHEY, DEXTROSE, SALT, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA. VITAMINS AND MINERALS; NIACINAMIDE, IRON, VITAMIN A (PALMITATE), VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITMAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE), AND FOLIC ACID.

Day Thirty One. A Mommy Always In Pain.

Day Thirty One. I am a typical stay at home Mom to three small kids. I have a Husband who works full-time outside the home and then also on a second job creating an iPhone app. I home school our … Continue reading

Day Twenty Seven. Do You Eat Biopesticides?

Day Twenty Seven.

Bt cell

Biopesticides sound delicious don’t they? Yum. Basically, a Biopesticide is what makes a plant Genetically Modified. Americans consume on average roughly 200 lb. of GMO foods each year. Since I am not very good at math I let someone else do those calculations for me. This is from the Natural Society website.

“We know that the vast majority of corn, soybeans, and much of many other crops are genetically modified, but do we know how the how much GMOs are consumed each year? Actually, yes. Average Americans today eat about 193 pounds of genetically modified foods over 12 months—and that’s an underestimate, according to the Environmental Working Group.

EWG analyzed data from 2011 provided by the US Department of Agriculture to investigate how much GMOs Americans were eating annually.   Four foods—sugar beets, corn syrup, soybean oil, and corn-based products—were selected for calculation, with 95 percent of sugar beets, 93 percent of soybeans, and 88 percent of corn grown in the US being some of the top genetically modified foods.

They found that the average American adult, weighing 179 pounds, consumes 68 pounds of beet sugar, 58 pounds of corn syrup, 38 pounds of soybean oil, and 29 pounds of corn-based products each year.  This means the average American eats more than his or her body weight in GMOs annually—likely more than that.”

 

There are three types of Biopesticies (Bt). The one I want to focus on is the second, the most commonly used form of Bt. Here is a definition from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

“The most widely used microbial pesticides are subspecies and strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Each strain of this bacterium produces a different mix of proteins, and specifically kills one or a few related species of insect larvae. While some Bt’s control moth larvae found on plants, other Bt’s are specific for larvae of flies and mosquitoes. The target insect species are determined by whether the particular Bt produces a protein that can bind to a larval gut receptor, thereby causing the insect larvae to starve.

 

Now, the EPA states that Biopesticides “generally affect only the target pest and closely related organisms”. Notice how they worded that, “generally”. Generally, in my opinion, means they are not sure and if you are not sure then do not use it. You agree with me? I read that last line in the description and it sounds like what most Americans struggle with, gut related issues. 1 out of 133 Americans will have Celiac Disease.

 

There is so much here I do not even know how to process it all. I don’t want to overwhelm people, I just want people to be informed. I think this is important and I think the presence of Bt in our food is wrong. Unless people start speaking up about it, refusing to buy GMO foods then the FDA and EPA will continue its money making schemes and the GM “food chain” will grow bigger and bigger.

Take a look at this video on Genetically  Modified Salmon…

 

Day Twenty Five. An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away…I Wish!

Day Twenty Five.

 

This week is filled with doctors appointments. I do not really like going to the doctor. Who does?! I especially hate it when you spend your time and money to go see a doctor and leave more confused than when you arrived. I am hoping this week we will get some answers. Please pray we get answers. When Mommy isn’t feeling well no one is happy. 🙂

 

I have not talked much about myself and I still am going to wait until after my appointment tomorrow. I am going to see a top GI Specialist here in Atlanta and hopefully I will get some answers. I cannot keep up with my life this way. I have 3 very beautiful, but demanding children who need me 110% all day and night… I have a husband who is working 2 jobs who needs support… I am homeschooling our 5 year old Kindergarten… raising and training a 3 year old and 8 month old… and trying to maintain a healthy diet (gluten free) so I am cooking a lot. Tiring for any normal person for sure. But when you are in constant pain it is over the top. After I get answers tomorrow (you like that? positive thinking!) I will post more my symptoms and what’s been going on with the Mommy.

 

Bradley also has a HUGE appointment on Friday this week. I am so so so nervous, but we really feel we need to do this. We went ahead and schedule his endoscopy… for the third time! I kept scheduling and then canceling because I would get scared and not want to put him through such a big test. This whole week he has consistently complained of his stomach hurting, not eating well and being tired and irritable. We have been on the diet for a month now and while we have seen improvements at times, we feel we need to just “make sure” we are not overlooking something major.

 

Like I said, big week for us. Please when you think of us pray for us. I would really appreciate it. And if anyone out there has ever been through something remotely similar share how you handled it? I would love to hear it.

 

ARE YOU READY TO FIND OUT THE KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS PRODUCT?

You think you guessed it right? If you did not get the chance to read the list you can see it here. I am starting a new thing here on my blog. Every Monday I will take one product and list the ingredients and then you get to guess in the comment section what you think it is! They are common foods found at your grocery store: Publix, Kroger, Aldi etc… I will post the answers on Tuesday.

The answer is:

Wishbone Thousand Island Dressing! ingredient #2 dressing

Great job Melissa P. for knowing your ingredients!

I have two good options for you to replace this dressing. If you feel ambitious you could make your own, which always tastes better in my opinion. Or you could buy a store bought dressing that is GMO project certified.

Annie’s makes a good alternative: Annie's

Here is a good recipe for making your own Thousand Island Dressing:

Just use organic ingredients and you are golden 🙂

Ingredients:

Servings:
5
Units: US | Metric
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon white onion, finely minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 dash black pepper
Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well.
  2. Place dressing in a covered container and refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally, so that the sugar dissolves and the flavors blend.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/thousand-island-dressing-100355?oc=linkback