Update!

My family and I have been making health conscience decisions about what we eat for almost two months and we have seen a lot of improvements to our health. So what can eating organic whole foods for 2 months actually do for you?

Well for starters you will lose weight. I said in my first post that I was not eating this way to lose weight. This was not a “diet” for me. I made these changes to improve my health and my families. But I knew we would in turn lose weight from this though. So how much have I lost? After two months of eating a healthy diet I have lost 11 lbs, and I feel great! Unfortunately none of my clothes fit anymore ( anyone want to donate some clothes to me?), but I consider this a good problem to have. Others are noticing the weight loss and how I just look better. I am enjoying this, not because I am a vain person, but because others can see the outcome of a healthy lifestyle. Like I’ve said I am cooking whole foods for my husband and children also though they do not stick to a strict of diet that I am on. And guess what? My husband has lost 25lbs! That’s right 25lbs in 2 months. Normally I would be extremely jealous of his weight lose compared to mine, but I’m not. I’m genuinely happy for him.

Another change I have noticed is how great I feel. I would no way claim that I am cured from fibromyalgia. I still have my “bad days”. But I have so much more energy. And because I am able to do more during the day I am not having to deal with insomnia so much. By the time my head hits the pillow it’s not moving till my alarm goes off and that is a nice change. It is so refreshing to be able to feel like a normal person and actually have energy to get things done.

One more thing that I always knew I had a problem with and finally feel like I have concurred (with the help of The Lord) is the perception of food as a reward. I would always use food as a treat to myself after a hard days work or if I was feeling down. I felt I deserved to feel good with food. But now I’ve had to completely change the way I look at food. Food is a way to nourish my body, not a way to make me feel good. Once I began to look at food as a way of nourishment not pleasure then this lifestyle of healthy eating was easy. I honestly haven’t been tempted to eat anything sugary or fattening. I don’t need those things to make me feel good. I can find satisfaction in my God, my family, and the tasks The Lord has given me.

I have never regretting making these changes for us. I know that only good things will continue to come as a result. And I hope because of that I can inspire others to take a closer look at the food their eating and what it is doing to their bodies.

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Eating organic is so expensive.

One of the reasons I have never gotten into the organic “fad” is because eating organic is so expensive. I thought we would never be able to afford it on our very limited budget. So i never even tried. I would walk right past the healthy sections of the store without a thought of ever purchasing any. But once I came to the realization that my eating habits had to change I knew the way I shopped for my food had to change also. 

We decided the best way to determine our new grocery budget would be for me to go buy what I needed and see just how much that would cost and how long the food I bought lasted. I have been shopping this way for about a month and a half now and what is the outcome? We have saved money! Yes, thats right I have been buying almost all organic food and we have saved money. 

How have I done this? Well first of all we have almost stopped eating out entirely. Because my diet is so limiting to what I can eat there are only a couple of restaurants that I can eat at anyway. Now I am really telling on myself now, but we were spending so much money eating out, just because of the convenience. In order not to fall into the same trap of eating out often I have to be prepared. I now try to have each meal planned out ahead of time. For the days I am working I have our dinner waiting in the crockpot when I get home.

Another way I have allowed us to save money is by making so many things myself. Some of the most expensive organic food is the packaged “easy food.” By easy food I mean things you can just throw in your kids lunch box or open up and hand them for breakfast while your running out the door. Things like granola bars. By making these things with organic ingredients I bought in bulk I have saved us so much money and I get the satisfaction of my family eating something I made myself.   

Here is a few tips when shopping for organics.

Have a plan, but be flexible. Have your meals planned out and have a list, but sometimes I’ll get to the store and can’t find an ingredient or it is way out of my price range so I have to improvise. 

Buy enough for your family, but don’t over do it. Don’t overload your shopping cart with lots of produce that will just go bad before your family has a chance to eat it. I try to do my main grocery shopping every 2 weeks, buying things that will last with only enough produce my family can eat in a few days. Then I will make trips to our farmers market to restock on produce between grocery shopping. 

Bargain shop. Sometimes I will go to 2 or 3 stores looking for the best deal. I now know which stores have better deals on produce and which ones to buy the dry goods at. This meant our shopping in the beginning would take almost a full day, but it is getting faster and faster each time. 

 

Hope these tips helped you in your journey of healthy living! 

Pantry Purge

One of the first things that I did in search of a healthy lifestyle was to rid our pantry of anything I felt unsafe to eat. So during this process of the “pantry purge” I eliminated a lot of the things my kids liked to eat. I don’t want my kids to think that eating healthy has to taste gross or that they can’t eat anything that they enjoy so I have tried to find ways to make healthier options of the foods they loved. 

 

On the top of the list of things we had to purge but that my children (and husband) enjoyed was Nutella, but I found this great recipe on Pinterest 

Homemade Nutella

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This recipe uses whole hazelnuts that you grind up in the food processor so it is not smooth like the nutella in the stores, but it still taste great. My kids loved it! 

Here is the link for the Homemade Nutella

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Crockpot Greek Yogurt

The next thing I saw on Pinterest I just had to try was a greek yogurt recipe for the crockpot. My family loves greek yogurt and it can get pretty pricey, especially organic, so I thought I’d give this recipe a whirl. I was able to find all organic ingredients for this greek yogurt. But let me just warn you of a few things… It took several hours for the milk to warm to the right temperature in the crockpot. Maybe my crockpot doesn’t heat well or maybe I need to turn the heat setting to high instead of low. Also the yogurt came out pretty runny for greek yogurt. I think next time I will add more powdered milk. But again my kids loved it. I only had one bowl since I am limiting my dairy, and as you can see this recipe made 5 large mason jars full.  

Here is the link to the Crockpot Greek Yogurt. 

 

During our former life of bad eating habits on Sunday mornings before church we would usually have donuts for breakfast. (Bad I know!) We obviously were not going to be able to keep with that tradition so I wanted to make a way for Sunday breakfast to be fun and different. So we are now eating muffins on Sundays. I know you are probably thinking “muffins! those aren’t much better than donuts!” But I have found some great healthy recipes for delicious muffins.  

The first is a recipe I got from Food Matters. This muffin is gluten, refined sugar, and dairy free. 

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal 
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries  

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 count muffin tin. In a mixing bowl add dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour in coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla, mix well. Fold in blueberries. Distribute into muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy. 

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One more muffin recipe that we have come to enjoy is this Banana Oat Greek Muffins. Hence the name it is not diary free. After eating these muffins my pickiest eater exclaimed “Mom you make the best muffins” score! I unfortunately did not get a picture of them, but do yourself a favor and check out the link. 

 

Hope you will try some of these recipes and they will help you to exchange out some of the processed junk you may have in your pantry for something much better for you. 

 

 

 

Just stop serving already!

One thing The Lord has taught me through this trial of fibromyalgia is to depend on him for everything. I need the Lord’s help daily for the strengthen to do even the simplest of things. A very dear friend pointed out to me recently that I have a problem with “doing”. Meaning I am always doing the Lords work trying to achive some favor with Him. I have always secretly known this but would never admit it and was shocked that someone else had noticed it. I have always felt this sense of duty to be everything for everyone. Especially at church. If anyone asked me to serve in any ministry I would almost always say yes. I felt it was expected of me. I would always rationalize this to myself and my husband by saying ” if I don’t do it who will”. I felt like I need to make up for everyone else’s lack of service. It would frustrate me so much to see people sitting in church, getting their fill of the word, and leaving every week without any thought to what they could do for The Lord’s work. I honestly felt it was my duty to fill in the gap for these people. 

This was until the pain of FB was too great. I tried to keep plugging along like nothing was wrong but after awhile I couldn’t fight it any longer. I had to step down from some of the ministries I was involved in. It just so happened that during this time I was reading ” Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” by Johanna Weaver. By reading this book The Lord revealed to me the sin in my heart. And yes my sense of duty was a sin. How? Because I was so busy serving The Lord that I didn’t have time to build a relationship with Him. Also, I was “doing” to please men not God. Lastly, I was doing this all in my own strength. I honestly believe one of the reasons The Lord brought this pain into my life is so that I would be more dependent on Him and less on myself. This has caused me to completely reevaluate my life and my places of service. Where is it that The Lord would have me serve and where am I doing it all on my own? It took some serious time of prayer to get it all straightened out, but I had to begin with getting my relationship with The Lord right. 

 

I hope those of you reading are not hearing what I am not saying. Please don’t take from this that you should not be serving in your church. Or that I am justifying  those who are in church to get what they can and never give back. But I am more compassionate to those who may not be serving as much as I thought they should. Maybe they have a physical issue just like me and want to serve but can’t. Or maybe their ministry is behind the scenes, something I can’t see. And maybe you are reading this and you don’t have a place that you are serving. I urge you to pray and seek The Lord about where he would have you serve. I can’t number the blessings I have received from serving. 

 

The Lord has a place of service for all of us. It might not be where you or I expect. But have a right relationship with Him. Serve him through his power not your own and the blessings will rain down.