Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wheat Belly, Bread and Granola

I read most of the Wheat Belly book and have gotten some input from the Wheat Belly blog as well, enough to convince me that I should leave out all wheat from my diet. Unfortunately, my family loves gluten and bread. And I have two and a half 5-gallon buckets of wheat to use up.

So, I made gluten on Friday, took half of it to potluck on Sabbath and have been feeding it to my hubby in his lunches this week. 

Monday, the kids and I made the equivalent of 6 loaves of whole wheat bread (yum, except I didn't eat any).  I say equivalent, because 2 of the loaves I made 'special' by flattening them and spreading them with peanut butter and jelly, then folding them over so the pbj was inside. The kids loved that. 

I didn't get pictures of the 'special' loaves because the kids ate them before I took pictures. 

To try to satisfy my taste buds, I tried a recipe for gluten free bread that turned out flat, a little crumbly, but oh so yummy when toasted with vegan cheese on top and a slice of tomato. The recipe is here on this cool blog: 
Gluten free Bread Recipe from the Gluten Free Goddess.  The next one I'm going to try is this one here: Sandwich gluten-free bread 
Before it was baked.  

After lunch, I was going to have the kids help me make granola, but they were so happy outside, making whirlpools in a bucket, the result of watching a Mythbusters  episode.

So I just went ahead and did it myself. I have this problem with making granola, though. I can never get it to be flaky and light and crunchy. It always comes out dark, kind of chewy and in big chunks floating in crumbs. Ugh. It tastes alright, though Victor always adds honey. He likes it really sweet and I don't put sugar in. Sure, I add lots of sweeteners: honey, dates, bananas. . . just not as sweet as sugar I guess. 
Ready for the liquids 

Ready to bake

I know part of my problem is I don't stir it enough while before and during cooking. But another problem is I don't add oil. I am an impatient cook, so I follow the recipe(s) only so far as to get an idea of what to put in and the basic ratios and then just add what I want. I combine several recipes this way. So, next time, hopefully tomorrow, I'm going to follow a recipe and only that one to the letter and see what happens. It will be one of the many I have that is oil-free and sugar-free, of course, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a success! 

Anyway, back to the wheat free thing. I am noticing a difference in my allergies, although part of that could be the rag weed is dying off. The main thing I noticed is that after I left off the dairy completely, my gall bladder problem is now almost non-existent, except for a daily bout with acid reflux. That, I believe, is going away now that I'm not eating wheat. Yay! 
The other difference is my cold is easing up faster than normal, the yucky coughing up phlegm part has shortened. Wheat is a mucus forming food, so that makes alot of sense to me. 

All these cool discoveries in the wheat department has bolstered my enthusiasm to stick with it. 

On to perfecting the wheat free bread products!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Time well spent with family

Good afternoon, friends and family!

This weekend Victor's mom and step-dad, sister and nephew came to visit. The boys all had fun playing together after not having seen each other for a while. Mom makes the trip down about once a year to visit Grandma (her mom) and since we live next door, she gets to see her son and grandsons as well. This year she also gets to see her first granddaughter as well!

Mom and Sarah

Aunt Heather playing with Sarah
Anyway, we've jumped on the trampoline for hours, made airplanes out of cardboard, ran up and down the road, gone for walks with the dog, played legos and cars, rode bikes, trimmed the juniper tree with Grandpa and Aunt Heather, and played Monopoly. That was interspersed by 1 or 2 naps, meals and nighttime.

The neighbor boy, Shaydon and his little brother Trevon, rode their bikes down the hill to play for a bit. While they were here, they had Jeffrey on Trevon's bike, which is much smaller than Jeffrey's, and were trying to teach him how to ride it. By the end of the day, he was coasting down the hill with his feet off the pedals so he could catch himself. I encouraged him to try putting his feet on the pedals. He finally did and was pedaling down the hill just before the other boys had to go home. It was a little tight since the bike was slightly too small for him. But he had fun.
John, Dillon, Josh and Jeffrey

Since then, he has figured out how to ride down the hill on his bike and finally ride it up and around and every where else without crashing too much.

Now it's the first thing he wants to do in the morning.

Yesterday, we went out to eat and I ate a big salad and lots of veges as well as some great egg rolls. I wish they had spring rolls with the rice wrappers instead but oh well.
So, today for lunch the boys had leftover mac and cheese, while I ate salad wrapped in rice paper. Delicious! I could do that everyday. Well, almost.
Eating out, talking to daddy!

The boys are drinking tea now and cousin Dillon, mama, papa,  Heather and Jazzy (the dog) will all be going home tomorrow.

I've been reading this great book, called The Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson. My friend, Rachel, found it first and shared it on FB. (Thanks, Rachel!)
It's for moms, obviously, but alot of the principles contained therein (look how edumacated I can sound!) apply to parenting in general. So I was sharing with Victor because I see alot of things I can improve on and both of us could use an overhaul in being better parents, closer to the way God wants us to be.

We've been going to bed earlier, getting up earlier, and trying to increase the quality and quantity of our family togetherness and worships. It's amazing how much smoother the day is when the focus isn't on "How many hours til the boys go to bed" but on actually remembering that I made a commitment when I decided to have kids and that God made me a discipler of children, not just an arbiter of justice. I need to put aside my own selfishness and not let the children's interruptions frustrate and aggravate me, but to take the opportunity to teach, lead, guide and spend quality time with them.

Actually, now that I think of it, I need to treat these interruptions, not as interruptions at all, but as part of the regular happenings and the extra stuff that I do for myself, as time outs to collect my thoughts. When they come to me for help or time with them, then my time outs are over. Or something like that. I can always come back to them. But my children will not always be wanting my attention.

Like today's blog. I started writing it in my head two days ago. Sat down at the computer twice today, and finally finished it this afternoon. So, it is what it is. And  I love how the day and this whole weekend went. :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekend breakthroughs.

On Sabbath, we had church and potluck in the park. It was nice and cool, and sunny. For potluck, I was a good girl and had some salad that I had made, some vegan pasta-free crockpot lasagna adapted from Forks over Knives (very delish), a 'meatball' that I'm sure had dairy in it, some vege burger of sorts with cactus or green peppers in it, and several vegetable baked egg rolls. And probably a few other things. Most everything I ate was dairy free, except the meatballs and the egg rolls.

But then I went back for seconds. The stuff I liked was all gone, of course. But there was a seven layer salad that had a few spoonfuls left, so I took some, noting that there was a heavy mayo dressing and hardboiled egg slices. For desert, I wasn't going to eat any, but tempted by someone who didn't want to take the rest home, I ate a piece of gooey fudge brownie, and that was followed by 2 donuts and several white rolls with buttter. Ugh. I felt fine until I ate all those seconds.

Now I was drowsy and ready for a nap. When we got home I put away the bread that was sent home with us, took a bite of a leftover donut before putting it away and then sent the kids off to naps. After awhile, I did take a nap.

In the evening I had  the rest of that donut and some other foods that were ok, I don't remember what. veges I think. By the time we were ready to go to bed, I was having a gall bladder attack. I kept trying to remember what it was that could have caused it. I'd eaten some cheese over the last few days, but it had'nt been causing any immediate problems. Then I remembered, it must have been the eggs and high fat donuts and butter.

So I took a pain pill, took a hot bath and put almost scalding hot water on my gall bladder. Within a half hour the attack was over.

Based on this experience, I am, definitely, hopefully, not going to knowingly eat dairy and eggs.

Sunday, we had a wonderful lentil chili from the Forks over Knives cookbook. (I love this book more than any other I've used).
Monday we had tator tots, which gave me a little heartburn in the evening because of the fat. And for lunch I made a kale salad with avocado and tomato and lettuce and some ACV and pickled artichoke hearts. I ate a bunch of that and we finished the lentil chili.
In the evening, getting the nibbles, Victor got out the ice cream. I was tempted, but praise the Lord, the thought of adding to the heartburn and my new resolve not to indulge, kept me from following. I had some applesauce instead.

So today, I am feeling much better. Still have some residual heartburn but it's fading. Had some baked egg rolls for breakfast getting rid of the last of the wrappers.

I'm going to be trying the wheat free diet. So most of the recipes I make won't have any wheat ingredients from now on. Whatever wheat products, the kids and Victor will use up slowly and once those are gone we won't buy anymore. Not going grain free though, since rice, oats and buckwheat and the seeds aren't problematic to non-sensitive people, according to The Wheat Belly doctor.

Wheat these days is a GM food. So once we've weaned off, it's no longer an option for my health.

OK, that was a long one. I'm hoping that wasn't too boring! But if it was don't worry about it. I'm not. This blog is my public journal, and if anyone doesn't find my thoughts interesting that's ok. My thought's are mine, not anyone elses' and every person is different.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My intent today was to finish the grocery shopping. But Jeffrey has a fever, stuffy nose and headache. John and Josh already had colds and even Sarah has been a bit congested over the last week. 
So, we sat around most of the day. 

Worship was followed by naptime. John and I were the only ones who didn't nap. Jeffrey sleeps on and off with a cool rag on his forehead. Then Sarah's temp went up. Ugh! I really don't like having sick kids. 

Anyway, I was researching, as I always do. 

You know how you might have learned something in the past, and know good natural things to do for a certain problem, or whatever? But even though you know what to do you need confirmation or are just seeking new ideas to help ease your mind? 

I love the internet. It's so full of great things that you can pick out of the junk that's out there. 

So, yes, I was researching. I know to take a child's temp and give them fluids and cool down with a cool, not cold, rag, etc. I also know that a fever is the body fighting whatever is making it sick, so it's a good thing.

But, I like to do all I can to speed things along and reassure myself that I'm doing everything that is humanly possible to make my kids healthy and comfortable. What mom doesn't do this? Or any parent, for that matter. 

Anyway, I knew that in an infant, skin to skin contact is beneficial especially in newborns to help regulate body temperature and heart rate and breathing. What I wanted to know was if it would help much with fevers in infants (not premie or newborn). 

Yes, it does help. It can help lower the stress and temperature, keeping the fever from going too high. I guess in a way, the heat is drawn out by my body. Which makes perfect sense.

Amazing isn't it? 

So here I sit with Sarah naked on my chest, and she does feel cooler, except that her head sweats and makes me sweat. :-P But I guess that's the joy of motherhood.

This was a cool blog post I came across in my search. 

You know I just love being able to connect with my kids, whether it's physically, or emotionally. I sometimes get a bit lazy and let them do what they want to do all day with not enough real quality time spent with me. 

Yes, I am a bad mother. But that is one of my goals, to change my bad habits and enjoy playing with my kids without thinking constantly about other things. Just focusing my complete attention on them when I spend time with them. 

So, now I'm going to to spend some quality time with my kids, reading bedtime stories. Good night, readers!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hi there.

Last time I was on here, I said I would share some of the things I've been learning lately.

Well, first of all, I do alot of reading on the internet and in books, mainly on the subject of health. That is one of my biggest joys in life. To learn all I can.

I grew up lacto-ovo-vegetarian. That means we ate dairy products. As we got older, my mom started taking them out of our diet. I don't remember when, but I do remember it was because it was healthier. By the time I entered college, we didn't use dairy at home for the most part, except sometimes on pizza. It wasn't that big a deal. College, I went to a health oriented, very conservative school, where the cafeteria served completely vegetarian food. No animal products at all, except honey which technically means we weren't vegan by the usual meaning of the word.

Since then, I've been mostly complete vegetarian. Hubby introduced me to salmon, which at first I did not like at all. I've never liked meat. But I actually now like the taste of salmon. But it's not something I have to get some of because I'm craving it. I never do that with any meat. I do that with pizza, or chinese food, but never meat.

After college, for along time I was strict with my diet. But then I started getting back into the dairy. When I was pregnant with my youngest boy, I had to cut back alot because I got anemic. Who would have guessed milk and cheese could do that to you?

Anyway, I have many health books. I have read Dr. Neal Barnard's books on diabetes and food cravings ('Reversing Diabetes' and 'Breaking the Food Seduction'); Dr. Colin Campbells book on animal protein and cancer ('The China Study'); Dr. Robert Young's books on ph and disease ('Ph miracle living'); and many internet sites related to them.

What have I learned?
1. Plant based is better;
2. Animal products are very bad;
3. Mostly Raw is good;
4. Disease is caused by lifestyle, not genetics;

to name a few.

Here is a video that is really neat and talks about these things. It's called Forks Over Knives. It's on Netflix, they have a website and I think it's on Youtube as well. Here is a link to one on Hulu.

Oh, and here are some of the websites I was talking about relating to some of the books I have read.

These doctors and other health people whose research I've been reading, in my opinion all believe the same thing for different reasons. They come from different backgrounds and different ideas to the same conclusion. That the best diet is the one that God gave in the beginning. Whole plant foods eaten whole.

I once thought that if there was some way to bring all the information they came up with and put it all together into one book, that would be great! I even thought I would try that. But I just figured, that would be a very large book and who would read that?! Besides, it would never be finished, since new information is coming out all the time, and we are always learning more about the foods God gave us.

Speaking of new information. . . . No, I'll leave that for another post. If anyone has any suggestions of websites or books for me to read, put them in the comments. I'm always open to new research!

Til later.