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My Raw Resolution

5 Jan

The holidays are over.  The cookies are gone.  The desserts have been devoured.  All that remains is one muffin top…mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely holiday.  I visited with friends and family, and I didn’t go crazy with my eating.  But…by Christmas day, I felt terrible.  In fact, was tired most of December.  My energy level was way down from normal and I had the blues a bit, especially after Christmas.  Maybe some of that was just normal post-holiday emotions, but I think a majority of it was from my diet that was consisting of more starches and sugars than what I am used to eating.

Also, about a year ago, I noticed a small lump along my bikini line which scared the daylights out of me until I did some research and saw a doctor and found out I have a femoral hernia.  It’s a rare type of hernia that occurs mostly in women and can be caused by pregnancy.  I was relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious.

I noticed that when I eat too much, my gut really bothers me.  I had an episode just after Thanksgiving that almost sent me to the hospital.  If you have ever had intestinal pain, you will know what I’m talking about.  I almost passed-out, was throwing-up, and then broke-out into hives, all from pain in my gut.

I did some research on hernia surgery and thought I was going to have to have surgery right away to avoid another emergency situation.  Then I stumbled upon some websites that examined healing a hernia without surgery.   Being the crunchy girl that I am, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.  General anesthesia scares me to death!  If I’m going to have surgery, I would rather it be for a tummy tuck than to fix a hernia! But I’m probably too chicken for that, too.

I also read that, contrary to common medical advice, moderate exercise, including abdominal strengthening, can actually help to heal a hernia (depending of the type and severity).

I was training for a sprint triathlon last year and stopped my training, in part, because I was afraid I was going to make it worse.  I plan to start Pilates and yoga from home and I am going to resume walking/jogging and swimming.

The best site I found so far is the  Hernia Bible.  It’s filled with information about diet and exercises to heal a hernia naturally.  Here are the basics:

The principles of the hernia diet

  • Reduce the overall quantity of food you eat.
  • Eat mostly foods which are easily digested and pass quickly through your digestive system. These help to reduce the amount of time food stays in your intestines (‘transit’ time), and make bowel motions soft and easy.
  • Eat foods which help to reduce gas and lubricate your intestines.
  • Eat foods rich in nutrients which help to maintain the integrity of collagen and elastin in your abdominal wall.
  • Consider eating only two meals a day instead of three. Skipping breakfast means your intestines should only contain one meal’s worth of food by lunchtime. This greatly reduces the volume of your abdomen and the pressure on your inguinal gap.

After reading this, I thought, raw food fits the bill here for sure.  I knew I needed to get flour and sugar back out of my diet, and I needed to cut-out meats and cheeses for a while because they are digested too slowly.

“A diet that is high in fibre, wholegrains, vegetables and fruit and low in dairy products, meat, white flour and sugary foods will assist in reducing your transit time to 12 hours or so and in reducing your overall appetite. In turn this reduces the volume of your abdominal contents.”  The Hernia Bible

Recommended Supplements:

The strength and integrity of your abdominal wall depends on the strength and integrity of the collagen and elastin proteins which are its main structural components. For optimal collagen integrity, your body needs an ample daily supply of the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin A, Vitamin C
  • Calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, sulphur,
  • The amino acid arginine found in most protein foods but especially nuts

I try to get my vitamins and minerals from food sources whenever possible, and the best Vitamin C source I have found is a 100% food concentrate from Acerola Berry.  I use Healthforce Nutritionals Truly Natural Vitamin C.  I just add a tablespoon to a green smoothie.

Since I’m not eating meat, I have included nuts and seeds in my diet as well as an L-Arginine supplement.  Nuts, together with sunflower and sesame seeds, are the best all-round sources of zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium and arginine–nutrients which your body needs to make collagen for strong connective tissue.  I am adding sunflower and pumpkin seeds to my salads and am snacking on Go Raw’s Super Cookies, which are made with coconut, sesame seeds, and dates.  That’s it.

They have other flavors too, but I have only tried the original so far.  My kids love them too.  When I have some time, I’m going to make some myself.  I have a super recipe for raw cookies with sprouted oat groats, raisins, and cinnamon.

I admit, it sure helps owning a health food store. I am able to try things, often for free from companies and see if they taste good and test how they work.  I will be trying lots of new products and let you know what I think.

So, where to start?  I started with green smoothies.  Today I used frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, coconut water or spring water, and TONS of spinach.

The BlendTec sure helps.  My regular BlendTec is at the store, so I ordered this refurbished Starbucks blender on Ebay.  I prefer mine over this one.

Here are my kids enjoying their smoothies.  As a mom, I can’t do anything on my own.  Everyone wants to join in.  I guess that’s a good thing!

RawFamily.com has some great green smoothie video demonstrations if you are not sure how to make a green smoothie that actually tastes good.

I’m getting ready to make some videos of my own, so keep checking back.

So far, I’m down almost 6 pounds in 3 days.  My energy level is WAY up, and everything is moving well, if you know what I mean. My only cheat has been coffee in the morning with a bit of organic half and half.  I haven’t had any coffee in the afternoon, though.  That’s progress for me:)

I’ll keep you posted about my raw food resolution.  My plan is to continue eating raw for about three weeks.  At that point, I will re-evaluate my progress.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,

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Better Late than Never!

23 Dec

We all have our strengths, and our weaknesses.  I am terrible at getting Christmas cards out.  I’m good at picking them out and ordering them.  It’s the addressing, stamping and mailing part that challenges me.

Just to illustrate, my husband and I were married in October of 1995.  I had the cutest cards made with our wedding picture and the words “Marry Christmas”. Get it, “Marry” instead of “Merry”?

Anyway, I must have had 150 of these lovelies made up.  I wrote little thank you notes for our wedding in them, addressed them, and stamped them.  Well…about 10 years later, I found a box full of them!  Stamped, addressed, everything!  What happened?

I know some people got them, because they felt it necessary to inform me that I misspelled “Merry”. Urgh!

I ALMOST put them in the mail and blamed it on the post office.  I was so embarrassed that so many people didn’t get a thank you note from our wedding.  Oh well, I moved on.

That brings me to Christmas 2010.  We had the cutest pictures taken in October (plenty of time), ordered Christmas cards, and never got them out.

Fast forward to this year.  I just couldn’t justify ordering more cards after my failure to follow through last year.  So, it’s last years card you get!

Yes, I am mailing out last years card.  I wonder how many people will even notice?  I don’t think I would.  I would be too busy admiring those cute kids!

Just to update things a bit, I included a picture from our daughter’s wedding in October of 2011.  Isn’t she beautiful?

My only expense was $13 for the copies of the pictures and postage.  Not bad.

They are all addressed and ready to go to the post office today.  Hope I don’t find them is some box in ten years:)

Merry Christmas!

Staying Slim Through the Holidays

6 Dec

After posting several comport food recipes, I thought I would share a secret with you…I don’t eat like that on a regular basis.

You see, I love anything with butter, sugar and flour; cookies, cake, scones, shortbread, you name it.  In fact, I am known as the birthday cake baker in my family.  Problem is, the combination of butter, flour and sugar does not like me.  It makes me fat…quickly.

After losing 45 pounds a year and a half ago on the Hcg diet, I determined NEVER to let myself gain the weight back.  After years of yo-yo dieting, I have finally learned how to maintain my weight-loss and still enjoy the foods I love.

The secret is…moderation!  Wow, I know, that was easy.  But is it really easy?  Not for me.  I love food.  I now allow myself to indulge in starchy foods here and there only if I am below my top weight.  For me, that’s 130 pounds.  Once I hit 130, I cut ALL sugars and starches out of my diet until I get back to 125 (my happy weight).

For example, two weeks before Thanksgiving, I went on a date with my King to The Urge Gastropub, a restaurant known for their amazing burgers and local beers on tap.  Well, I LOVE a good burger and I LOVE a good beer.

This was the barbecue bacon burger I had, and yes, I ate the whole thing.  Next time we go, my hubby and I will split a burger and I’ll eat mine sans the bun.  I may still have some of the sweet potato fries because life is short.

This is Stone Brewery’s Vanilla Bean Porter.  Did you hear me?  VANILLA BEAN BEER!  My new favorite!

Throw-in some deep-fried macaroni and cheese bites with house-made beer cheese sauce (have mercy!).

See how I get carried away???

Needless to say, I was up over my 130 limit.  Not to panic, I spent the next week and a half eating mostly protein and almost no starch or sugar.  I was down to 125 just in time for Thanksgiving!

The best scenario is to practice moderation during your meal, but if that doesn’t work out so well, then you need to have moderation in you daily life.  Basically, if you have a bad day, you need to have a good day (or two, or a week, in my case) to balance it out.

This time of year is especially hard with all of the treats and parties.  I know.  I’m sure people like me are no help either.  I will be posting some ridiculously sinful recipes for your holiday celebrations this month.

Back to my point: I went to a women’s brunch at my church last weekend and, of course, I had to try one of everything.  Gracious, it was embarrassing how huge my plate of food was.  Everything was delicious!  Then I had a small dinner and will be eating low-carb all week in preparation for Cookie Day!

For example, this morning I made Cinnamon Pecan Coconut Pancakes with sugar-free maple syrup and butter.  I’ll probably have some eggs for lunch and a sirloin tip with blue cheese for dinner.  I’ll be down a pound by tomorrow.

I promise to post the recipe for my pancakes soon.

Enjoy (in moderation)!

Queen of Your Home

14 Nov

I was reading a little devotional this morning by Nancy Campbell called “100 Days of Blessing: Devotions for Wives and Mothers” and came across a quote I wanted to share by Rev. T De Witt Talmage:

“Thank God, O woman, for the quietude of your home, and that you are queen in it.  Men come at eventide to the home; but all day long you are there, beautifying it, sanctifying it, adorning it and blessing it.  Better be there than war a queen’s coronet,  Better be there than carry the purse of a princess.  It may be a very humble home.  There may be no carpet on the floor.  There may be no pictures on the wall.  There may be no silks in the wardrobe; but, by your faith in God, and your cheerful demeanor, you may garniture that place with more splendor than the upholsterer’s hand ever kindles.”

Nancy writes, “Your home is not a prison to restrict your life.  It is a place where God can use you to influence many lives for Him, firstly your children, and multitudes of others who will come into your home over the years.  My greatest delight is to bring people into our home, feed them at our table and by God’s grace, show them God’s love and lead them closer to God”

Lovely words to keep in mind during the holidays and always.

The blog in my head

2 Nov

I love reading blogs. I wish I could sit around all day a read the creative musings of others. I Especially enjoy perusing the blogs with beautiful graphics and photographs. Sadly, I am totally inept at photography and have no idea how to do graphic design. Still, I am drawn to beautiful blogs.

If you know me, you will know that I am obsessed with The Pioneer Woman. She is witty, personable, down-to-earth, and best of all, she cooks the most delish food ever! When I need a killer meal, I turn to PW every time. Somehow, she has turned from being a very clever blogger into a brand. She’s like Martha Stewart on a cattle ranch. She makes me smile.

Back to why I am starting a blog…because I blog in my head all day long. I wish I would have started this three years ago when the idea started nagging at me, but alas, her I am.

I hope to inspire, encourage, and enlighten my followers (assuming there will be followers). But most of all, I hope to get the blog-speak out of my head and into yours:) Enjoy!