whoohoo!!! Thermogram Results!

Do you see that???   The left was 3 months ago.  I just received the report on the right!

God is rarely early, He is never late, He is always right on time.  Our goal was to be to Samaritan Ministries before the end of this year.

Good bye insurance, hello Samaritans!

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Yes I Feed My Family Real Food on a Budget

Yesterday I decided to make a comment on the Natural News  Facebook page.   Shane says I should have known better.  Rarely does any comment made, even in complete innocence accomplish anything good.

The question was about the $36 a month decrease in food stamp “benefits”   for a family of 4. (Which, btw, isn’t really a decrease but a return to the original amount)

I’m almost sorry I did.  I don’t understand people who feel that they can make snarky, judgmental comments to people they don’t even know.

As Michelle on the TV show Full House used to say…How Ruuuude!

Here’s the dialogue:

Natural News: As federal food stamp cuts kick in, food banks across the country are bracing for a wave of hungry masses. Some are talking about food riots happening in the near future. But is all this insanity really necessary over a cut that averages just $36 / month? What’s your take?

Me:   I say suck it up folks and learn how to cook! I feed my family of 6 (including 2 teen boys) on less than what a family of 4 receives in food stamps. Seriously, people get free money and want to complain about losing less than $10 a week? The entitlement mentality stinks!

My reply received at least 10 thumbs up and these 2 darling comments.

1.  “Do you have a kitchen to cook in? A freezer to store in? A reliable vehicle to get around in? 2 jobs? Stores with decent food close by?”

 2.  “What kind of food are you feeding your family, exactly? I shudder to think.”

And my reply:

NO junk food! I cook from SCRATCH mostly, I KNOW unheard of in this day and age where a frozen dinner is “homemade” We have Trader Joe’s about an hour away. We do live in the country and have access to raw milk, grass-fed beef and fresh eggs, And (1st commenter) we do it on ONE income, I home educate my children while my husband busts his butt to provide for us; yeah, I know that’s unheard of too in this day!  I’ve NEVER seen an apartment without a kitchen, and never seen a store with that didn’t carry flour and eggs; even in the inner city (and yes, I’ve been there). Any other questions?

Then I decided to add:

But I am so touched that you would give a care about what I’m feeding my children. You might be surprised to know that I know SEVERAL single income families, some bigger than ours, that work their butt off to provide good, healthy food for their families.

(yeah, I admit I was a little snarky back, but seriously it was my opinion on the subject and I don’t know what business either of these people have questioning my food choices for my family. )

Another lady asked for my menu plan.  I’m hoping that she was sincere, and took it as such.  While I’m not going to subject myself to that kind of scrutiny, I am honored that she would ask.  I did write an abbreviated version of what is below.

One of my go to recipe books is Saving Dinner by LeAnne Ely.  Several of our family favorites now come from this book.

However, I don’t really think eating good foods on a budget is about meal plans as much as it is about avoiding expensive processed food by cooking from scratch.

My motto is to “do the best I can with what I have”.

I avoid the dirty dozen when possible, no HFCS.  I buy all my corn products at Trader Joes (it’s supposed to be non GMO), or the local farmers market in season.   We pay $4 a gallon for raw milk-a lot less than in most places.  I grind my own flour and make my own cream of mushroom soup (yes, I do used canned mushrooms). It takes about 5 minutes to make.   We have an Amish community about an hour away, I stock up on spices, oatmeal and other assorted items.   I also utilize Vitacost, for many items and Tropical Traditions for tomato puree and coconut oil by the 5 gallon bucket once a year (they often have free shipping on Mondays).

We also recently started raising our own meat.  Pork and beef.  We’ve butchered our own chickens before and would love to do it again.  I realize a lot of this is not possible for many; but everyone can mix together pancake batter, it really doesn’t take much longer than pouring a boxed mix into a bowl and adding water.   The TV dinner was invented in the 1950’s  and didn’t really become popular in the 70’s.  Everyone cooked from scratch back then, most on one income.

We also don’t have a microwave, and haven’t really missed it except to heat coffee, lol.

we rarely, drink coke.  Water and coffee are the two staple drinks in our house.  Although, I will make lemonade and tea on occassion.

I will sometimes add millet to ground beef to stretch it some

I make my own bone broth

If I remember, I will soak kidney beans for chili instead of using canned beans.

Frozen or fresh vegetables and I haven’t always been good about making them; I’ve always been a meat and potatoes gal.  Although I am getting better. Canned vegetables are NASTY and have little nutritional value.

Aldi’s chicken has no added hormones…sometimes that’s the “best I can do, with what I have”

I LOVE spices!

I make my own spaghetti sauce (and sometimes when I my wonderful neighbor brings me bags of tomatoes, the tomatoes are fresh and not from a jar).

Some of my healthy eating goes out the window when it comes to church fellowship meals, 4th of July and any other large gatherings,

Remember?  I do the best I can with what I have.  Paying 3 times the amount for a items that will be eaten mostly by people that are not as concerned about their eating habits is not worth it to me.

I consider myself a real food snob in my own home, but I would NEVER offend any of my friends or family by refusing to eat what they offer me-I just refuse to think about what I’m eating, lol.  We go out to eat, although I must admit I haven’t missed McDonald’s one bit.

I believe that God is big enough to keep me healthy if I eat junk food every so often. 🙂

And pre-packaged convenience food is NOT cheap!

Journey to Wellness – Healthy Eating

So I think I need to go back and tell you about my journey to healthy eating. Healthy eating is part of my wellness journey.  Next week, I’ll share some of the other things I’ve been doing to get healthy.

Eating real food more often than fake food.

Learning about real foods is the one good thing that came from the doctor that spiraled my progesterone out of control.

Dr. Number 2 if you’re keeping track.

As a kid I remember eating waffles on Sunday morning- Mom would mix the batter from scratch and then she’d ladle it onto my Grandma’s old waffle iron with a measuring cup. I can still smell the goodness wafting from that waffle iron.

Or, cakes from scratch. Complete with the flour-y mess all over the counter.

My mom’s background is Polish and German. We’d have keilbasa and saurkraut, perogi, and  golumpki.  Or sometimes we’d have hamburger helper before hamburger helper was created. We called it hamburger, rice and tomato- the filling for golumpkis.

I remember one year my Grandma brought a suitcase full of goodies to cook up while she was visiting from New York state. She made sausage in the basement. She made home made lasagna with sauce that she’d cook for hours. If I could, I’d put it up against any Italian’s best lasagna ever. Yes, it was that delicious.

Cooking was her gift. In fact, when she died my mother and I looked for a crematory container suitable for her. We didn’t find one. Guess where her ashes are? Yes! She’s buried in her recipe box!

So all of this to say that I was raised on real food!

But several things changed over the years.

Mass production convenience food made it easier and cheaper to cook food.

Ramen noodles and Rice A Roni.   For a gal that loved carbs they were the best!

Pesticides.

But quack doctor number two convince me to start a real food journey.

My journey to real food began when I learned that pesticides mimic estrogen.

Then your body stops making it.

Then you have none.

Ever wonder why men are walking around acting more effiminate these days? YES! It’s because their bodies are absorbing the pesticides making them more girly!

Thus began my journey to eating more real foods.

In addition to pesticides that mimic estrogen I also discovered that there are:

More pesticides on produce today than ever before
Lead in cans
GMO foods are very different than a hybrid. Genetically modified food is NOT even food! It’s fake-r than pre-packaged mashed potatoes.

Here’s what I do:

I avoid the dirty dozen as much as possible  and know the clean 15

I avoid high fructose corn syrup (or as Shane calls it E (evil) HFCS)

I buy tomatoes in glass jars when at all possible.  Tomatoes are acidic and can leach the lead out of the can.

Avoid MSG as much as possible–it’s terrible for you!

Avoid soy, and corn unless it’s organic, these are two of the most GMO plants right now.

We buy raw milk from a local farmer

And yikes! We don’t pasteurize it either- takes away all the nutritional value!

Tabitha convinced me that homogenized, pasteurized, store bought milk has NO nutritional value several years ago when it took 4-5 cups of that junk to fill her tummy as opposed to about 1/2 cup of farm fresh cows milk only days earlier.  (We were on vacation and had not taken enough real milk with us).

I try to make my own bread when I have time.  (Haven’t had time lately, so we’ve resorted to store bought at Trader Joe’s).

Organic when it’s affordable  Whole foods often has sales.

We have started raising our own meat. Grass fed Jersey cow tastes amazing! Pork raised on dirt.  And have chickens on and off, right now, we’re off.

Bone broth

Hormone free dairy products

Kombucha and kefir come and go; I’d like them to me more of a staple though

Fermented foods – cabbage, salsa (oh the flavor!) pickles, lacto-fermented lemonade!
Again, I’m not as diligent as I’d like to be but it’s my goal.

For the record Trader Joe’s has become one of my favorite places to shop!

Am I hard and fast? NO! We eat food that I know is not good for us from time to time- ice cream is often in our freezer :).

Sometimes when I’m a bad mom and forget my children are hungry when I’m not I buy them prepackaged fake cheese and crackers.

In a pinch I’ve even been known to buy something with hfcs: while I’m cringing.

All of that said, I would NEVER refuse to eat food offered by friends and family.  Friendship and fellowship come well before being a real food snob to the degree of offending those I love dearly!

I have always said I’ll do the best I can with what I have.

It’s paying off.

The other day Isaac ate at Mcdonalds.

He said it tasted nasty!

Whoot!

I’ve made progress 🙂

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The Pastor’s Son. Wellness Part III

Click on the links for Part I and Part II of the story.

Hi David!  Here’s my testimony for your website.  And here’s a link to your website.  Maybe you’ll get many referrals 🙂

So, are you still with me?

I was getting better, but it wasn’t good enough.

Enters, our Pastor’s son.

Yes, you read that right.  Our Pastor’s son!  From my understanding, for most of his relatively young life. he’s been researching natural health issues.  (Compared to me he’s a young’n- I’m almost old enough to be his Momma).   He had recently graduated with a Doctoral Degree in Homeopathy and was moving back to our area  with his wife.

So I made an appointment to see him.

He suggested this strange idea called Muscle Testing or Systematic Kinesiology to see what supplements would benefit my body without guessing.  No, this is not strange voo-doo.  It is based on physics and I cannot explain it, but I know it works!

So, we  adjusted my supplements.

I was now taking what I do NOT affectionately called my “mini-meal”

Improvement!  My next thermogram was significantly improved.

My energy level was better than it had been in years!

And for the first time in years, I got my EYEBROWS WAXED!

I write that with almost tears in my eyes.  Now I know many of you will not understand why I am on the verge of tears.   And I don’t know if I can help you understand.   You see I had been so sick for so long, that I had little hope left of ever feeling better.  And by better, I mean completely healthy.  To me, having enough eyebrow hair to be waxed after looking in the mirror one day several months earlier and realizing I had NO eyebrows, well,  that was a major event in my wellness.

And the really amazing part, was that the technician asked if I wanted them waxed.

She NOTICED that I had unruly eyebrows!

David, I cannot thank you enough for being a part of my path to wellness!

Stay Tuned for Part IV

the Beginning of the Nightmare

I have written a series of articles about my journey to health.  This is the first.  I will be posting once a week and will try to do this on Tuesday.  I pray that it will encourage and benefit others that may be struggle with similar issues.

A long time ago in a not so far away land I received an abnormal pap result. The doctor I was seeing at the time described it as pre-pre- pre cancerous and told me I needed a hysteroscopy (not hystercomy) and a d&c to remedy the situation. Now. I had had abnormal paps before and the recommendation had always been re-check in 6 months. It had never been a problem.

But this time the dreaded “C” word was spoken.

Looking back now, I guess that’s why I went ahead with her recommendation. And the next recommendation.

Hormone replacement.

Now, I wasn’t dumb- I had read Dr. John Lee’s book and I knew it needed to be bio-identical progesterone. No horse urine for me!

So I started taking the little green pill.

I was 38 years old.

I started having night sweats.

A few months later, I was a wreck.
Crying for no reason, moody, depressed, anger would jump out without any warning.  So I went to a different doctor; one that was more natural.  He did bloodwork and put me on a troche that not only contained progesterone, but estrogen and testosterone (yep guys, us ladies need a little of that too).   But it didn’t help.  He also educated me about fake estrogens and real food (I did get something worthwhile from him after-all).

So more bloodwork, increased progesterone; more progesterone, more progesterone and even more progesterone.

And I was getting worse!  It was so bad that there were many days Shane thought he was going to have to come home I was so out of it.  Thankfully, that usually jarred me to my senses for the rest of the day.

Two for two– I had found two quack doctors that just messed me up!

And then Malachi came home with his own set of issues that needed attention.

3rd doctor enters the picture and continues current regiment.

You’re wondering why I didn’t change something aren’t you?

Well, we did…or so I thought.  I would go through times where I thought I was getting better; but I wasn’t.

Most of our days consisted of ranting by angry momma.  Mind you, I COULD not stop!  I talked a little about that here.

The hormones were controlling me, and I kept taking them!

Here was the cycle:

I would get angry;.  Rant, rant and rant some more.  When I came to my senses, I’d beat myself up for getting so angry.  I’d throw every Bible verse about anger up at myself.  Then I’d come to my senses. Repent to everyone in the house for blowing it again; ask forgiveness and everything would be great…until the next time.

Trouble was, no one would know when the next time would be…not even me!

My memory was gone; I couldn’t lose weight, my brain was foggy.  I was a basket case.   I’d go to the thrift store and they asked if I got the senior discount!  Yes, it was that bad.  I was  ONLY 42 years old!

Finally, I went to a 4th doctor.  She told me I didn’t need anything I was taking!  Ironically, I found this doctor by attending a “Hormone workshop” done by a pharmacy that wanted to put me on strong hormones and stop my cycles.  Let me remind you again;  at this time I was approximately 42 years old!

This doctor tested my vitamin D levels, they were extremely low, she recommended 1000i.u.’s of Vitamin D3 and  5-HTP to help my foggy thinking.  And that was it!

Well, let me stop there and tell you, 1000i.u.’s of vitamin D will NOT get your vitamin D levels up; it won’t even maintain current levels!  My vitamin D levels finally reached optimum level when I took 10,000 i.u.’s a day for about a year.  Everyone is different.  Get your blood levels checked.  Do your own research.  (I recommend starting with Dr. Mercola)

Ok, so that was the beginning of the healing…

stay tuned for part II and THANKS for stopping by!

I LOVE comments!

President Reagan’s Favorite Mac and Cheese

I found this recipe many, many, many years ago in a red spiral bound, paperback cookbook that I picked up somewhere, probably a garage sale or thrift store, shortly after Shane and I were married.   It was called something like “Teachers in Space.”I think was meant to be a fundraiser for the newly developing  “Teachers in Space” program in 1984.   It  contained recipes from teachers around the country, including Christa McAuliffe, the teacher that perished in the tragic Challenger explosion.

 

Yesterday, the children  asked me to make the much loved dish for fellowship meal this Sunday.  I went to get the cookbook, but could not find it.   Panic set in and I turned the house upside down looking for it.  I have a terrible habit of carrying cookbooks all over the house while I’m menu planning or looking for new ideas.  Still…no cookbook.    This morning I recruited the boys.  We scoured the house for the “red cookbook, with the black spine.”  Still… no cookbook.  Sadness sweeps over our faces.  Yes, I think I can recreate the recipe so all is not lost (the secret is an egg and dry mustard), but I really do love that worn out and tattered book.

But then I remember my trusty computer with the all-knowing Google search bar.   Guess what?  Google found many sites with the exact recipe and others  with a tweaked version.

But the most important thing… I have the recipe!

Without further ado…

1/2 lb. uncooked macaroni

1 teaspoon butter

1 egg, beaten

1 t salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I use whatever I have on hand)

1 cup milk

Boil macaroni until Al Dente, and drain thoroughly.  Meanwhile, mix salt and mustard with 1 Tablespoon hot water (I use macaroni water)  and add to milk.  Stir in butter and egg into the macaroni.  Add cheese, leaving enough to sprinkle on top.  Pour into buttered casserole dish, add milk and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at   350 for about 45 minutes or until custard is set and top is crusty. Serves 4. *

*I usually double this recipe, and it adapts well to a crock pot.

 

Needless to say it is one of our family favorites!   Although, I’m not sure it’s entirely healthy or even a little healthy,  it’s VERY good!