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East to West – God Knows Best

Another great recommendation from my (mother of a celiac son) friend, Kori. These are often more expensive – but these product are WORTH it. Light, soft, moisture… full of great flavor with ZERO main allergens in the mixes. Fantastic product! 1,2,3 GLUTEN FREE!

You know the Scripture in Psalm 103, that says God loves us as much as from the east to the west He removes our transgressions far away from us?  Well this week, in our sermon – the pastor shared a visual lesson with a globe how you can go east – all the way around the globe, and you never stop going east.  Same thing with the west.  You can continue going all the way around, and you’re still going west.  Had God said, “I love you north to south”, that wouldn’t have meant the same thing (obviously)… as if you go north to the top – and go around the north pole to continue north, suddenly you’re going south towards the south pole…

You get the picture?

God said that … because before WE ” discovered” the world was round… HE knew it was round.

He meant what He said.  There is no end to His love for us.

I often marvel at how God simply shows us what to do, if we listen to Him.

I mean, truly listen.

The point is… that God is talking to us, directing us – are we listening to HEAR HIM SPEAK?  Do we trust in what He says?

God is powerful, way beyond our ways, and how our simple minds process.  Do we trust in that?

There are few things I’ve been fanatical about in my life…  but when something strikes a chord with me – just ask my friends, or siblings – WATCH OUT.  I have a hard time shutting up about something I believe in – that God fills me with confidence about.  I call that God-confidence, not self-confidence.  If channeled right – this can be a great thing – but it’s been known to drive a few people I love crazy now and then too.  {Being aware of that is part of my therapy}

Daily I ask God to give me eyes and hears to bring this topic up to others I see struggling, who could potentially have issues with gluten… and it’s been amazing how much He has allowed me to learn from others, and how He continues to put people in my life who were struggling with some type of health issue/ behavioral issues/auto immune disorder – ALL related to gluten.

Today, I got a great article from a good friend who is suspecting lots of symptoms related to gluten sensitivity.  Her husband is actually a grain specialist at a university – so he was definitely interested in researching this for their family – of whom a majority showed GS signs.

I cried with JOY tonight as they shared some more articles/studies he discovered in his research.  Articles of recent studies done or discussed just this year… about the time all of my 30 year struggles were coming to a peak.  {I have made it downloadable for you, just click on the link – and enjoy!  Another GREAT article for you to take to your doctor, who might be doubting that gluten issues are highly possibly reality for you.

God is so awesome.  He really is.  I marvel at His greatness, and I’m THANKFUL for His provision in this journey.  Thank you for reading – and for helping to educate others too!  May God continue to use us all to help one another be HEALTHY FOR HIM!

“…as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Psalm 103:12

Sapone et al 2012_spectrum of gluten related disorders (1)
 
Summary:
“It is now becoming apparent that reactions to gluten are
not limited to CD, rather we now appreciate the existence
of a spectrum of gluten-related disorders. The
high frequency and wide range of adverse reactions to
gluten raise the question as to why this dietary protein
is toxic for so many individuals in the world. One possible
explanation is that the selection of wheat varieties
with higher gluten content has been a continuous process
during the last 10,000 years, with changes dictated
more by technological rather than nutritional reasons.
Wheat varieties grown for thousands of years and
mostly used for human nutrition up to the Middle Ages,
such as Triticum monococcum and T. dicoccum, contain
less quantities of the highly toxic 33-mer gluten peptide
[65]. Apparently the human organism is still largely vulnerable
to the toxic effects of this protein complex, particularly
due to a lack of adequate adaptation of the
gastrointestinal and immunological responses.
Additionally, gluten is one of the most abundant and
diffusely spread dietary components for most populations,
particularly those of European origin. In Europe,
the mean consumption of gluten is 10 g to 20 g per day,
with segments of the general population consuming as
much as 50 g of daily gluten or more [66,67] All individuals,
even those with a low degree of risk, are therefore
susceptible to some form of gluten reaction during their
life span. Therefore, it is not surprising that during the
past 50 years we have witnessed an ‘epidemic’ of CD
[68,69] and the surging of new gluten-related disorders,
including the most recently described GS [44,62]. This
review provides some rationale to explain these epidemiological
phenomena and expands our current knowledge
to gain more insights into gluten-related disorders.”
 
 

My New Home

The grocery store.  It’s a necessary evil isn’t it?

I naturally spent quite a bit of time at the store.  With 10 mouths to feed, I was there at least three times a week.

I kept supplies on hand to make our usual menu, and stocked up on fruits, veggies, bread, milk, cheese and eggs.

Beautiful fruit!

Lately it seems, I go to the store almost daily… and usually I go to three different stores on any given trip!  Mostly for produce and label reading.

I’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time, but I still have LOTS to learn.

Soon it won’t be like this – but the past two weeks have been a bit of a blur.

Watching for gluten-free labels and having to read ingredients on every product I pick up is pretty time-consuming, and then trying to remember *I* still can’t have lactose or milk protein (casein) in anything either is quite confusing in my brain fog state.  It’s almost impossible to go WITH multiple children.

I really wish that people could just put (in english) what is in the product… so I didn’t feel like I needed a chemistry degree to figure it out.

I think the word “gluten” on my Google app should be a button I push, as I’m often searching, “contains gluten?”  Why can’t my smart phone just KNOW I’m going to ask about gluten content?

You see quickly why it’s much easier to just eat whole foods.  For me, that’s simple… most products make me sick.   For the kids?   I hope their food intolerance stops here… but for the most part, they’ve been fantastic about the changes.

We got signed up with our local food co-op and got some great foods.   We are now “members” in our local co-op grocery store.  We bought somethings online at iherb.com and vitacost.com as well.  We bought some bulk things from amazon.com – and hopefully soon – we’ll be restocked, and I can exhale a bit.

When I realized I needed to start planning food for our vacation as well, I went into overdrive!  The no brainer items suddenly became a bit more complex.

My husband suggested maybe we just cancel the vacation, the task of feeding everyone – and finding some safe restaurants seemed too daunting, and he could tell I was wearing low from being sick, and struggling to eat much lately.

BUT – cancel vacation???

I can’t do that.  I knew I had to figure out a plan to make it work.  I prayed God would fill me up and allow me to see what we needed to do to keep us healthy while traveling.

Things won’t wander too far from how we already do things, the main thing is making sure we have the right snacks available!  We’ve had floor picnics in our hotel for a few years now.  We spread out a tablecloth, and the kids think it’s a blast!  I can go to the grocery store and get fruits, veggies and some supplies to make sandwiches easily, and it’s often WAY cheaper than eating out!

One of my favorite snacks! Carrots and gluten free peanut butter!

{Personally, it’s a lot less stressful than going to a restaurant at the end of a long, nap-less day.}  Now that we’d be going in as a large “picky” group, wanting specifics – I doubt we’ll eat out very much at all, and that’s just fine with us!

We do have some options for when we’re tired of sandwiches, and I’m so thankful for the restaurants who offer gluten-free menu options – especially for the kids!  Back to baking – I have a lot of food to make!

Oh, and if you’re wondering if I’m still working out.  YES.  I am…  and I’m thankful that part of my life has been consistent!  Also, thank you for putting up with my typos and grammar errors, it’s been quite humbling to me.  It’s always easy to being an editor to other people’s writing.  I stink at editing my own and the brain fog only made that worse.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” 

John 16:33

Getting a Clue?

Now and then, it seems like some restaurants are getting a clue…  perhaps they’re actually listening to some of what is being said.

I know I hear more people paying attention to what they’re ordering, or being utterly shocked at how many calories are in (what they THOUGHT) was a “healthy salad”…

But oh my… we still have a LONG way to go to continue being educated.  We certainly can’t let the restaurants do the math, and assume they have our best interests at heart.  No, we have to consider what their objective is – for us to buy whatever it is they sell.  It’s not ultimately for us to be healthy.

But I’ll give them credit where it’s due, they’re at least TRYING.

One of our kid’s favorite places to eat when we’re traveling (and if they’re in the area), is Culver’s.  “Home of the Butterburgers”….  You can imagine how this sits with me.  I used to LOVE their Wisconsin patty melts.  (When I ate rye bread, slathered in butter… swiss cheese all melty and stuff.)  Some days I even ordered a “double”… 616 calories and 35 g. carbs.  Ouch on the calories especially.  Now I just get a double butter burger with lettuce and mustard only – and eat it (without the bun of course).  Sometimes I have a salad with it – no cheese, croutons or dressing of course…  it fits the bill for A LOT fewer calories and carbs.  Not the best choice – but much better for me.

I was a little surprised that with their “Mindful Choices” options, they failed to offer something less of a 4″ white-bread bun!  That’s 160 calories RIGHT THERE of no nutrition… Remember: Think! WHY am I eating this?  What’s the point?

Culver's "Mindful Choices" selections

Online Culver’s even has a “Nutritional Meal Builder” to give you the 4-1-1 on what you’re going to stuff on in, and pray it processes.  They also have an allergen “grid” for their products.  Very nice.  I think while their product offering is mostly of the “fast food” sort – they are trying to make better options available for their customers.  That’s more that I can say for a lot of other companies!  Just be more aware of what you’re eating.  Don’t just 500 calories is what YOU should be eating at a meal just because that is their smallest offering.  Most people need LESS than that.

“Share in suffering as  a good soldier of Christ Jesus.   No soldier  gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”  2 Timothy 2:3-4

 

Oatmeal Goodness

I really loathe change.  Don’t you?

When I know something works for me, I like to stick with it…  If it’s not broken, why try to fix it, RIGHT?

Well, sometimes even when we don’t change, our body makes choices without our consent.  I think it’s called…AGING.

For women, this is often dramatic with hormone levels – having babies, nursing, cycles…  lots of things can throw off our systems.

Often times I find myself going back to some core Scriptures of how I have been created with a purpose – by Him, and for Him.  It helps me embrace “unasked for” change.

I love Quaker brand (and boy haven’t THEY had a boost with the latest health craze, and their products!  Go Quaker! – Sorry, the marketer in me!)  For months I enjoyed these chocolate granola bars for 90-100 calories each.  Then they made a change, and about 2 months ago – I could no longer get them.  I guess they weren’t as popular with everyone else.

(*I even tried to order online – I was desperate!  No dice.)  So I switched to something new… it wasn’t AS good, but it was ok.  Then it seemed my body was rejecting something in them.  Chocolate chips.  Boo!  So I’ve had to get rid of them altogether for now.

Since I love oatmeal, I’ve found this great substitue that doesn’t contain lactose…  and if I’m around home, and don’t have an apple – this is a tasty option and filling!  (2pts for those of you who watch those!)

Yum! We get this at Target, but have found it at HyVee and Dillons/Kroger too.

What unasked for changes have you encountered, and how did you handle them?  Read today’s Scripture and be filled up.  Sounds like SOMEONE had a plan all along, whether we knew about the changes or not!  May God greatly bless your efforts and your weekend!

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Eph. 2:10

She Speaks My Heart

PART TWO OF TWO

Throughout the book “Kisses From Katie”… Katie shares how God prepared her throughout life for what she is doing today.  When I read her words, it speaks to my heart.  I see a similar path I followed, in preparation of my future and how it led me to where I am.

As a parent though, you can understand why one might be concerned… your child, who has everything going for her from a worldly standpoint – willingly changes their course of life, not just a little bit – but in an unimaginable way – just to obey God, while in the process disobeying you.

If she doesn’t believe in a works based salvation… then why on earth would someone do that in this day in age?  Give up modern conveniences, parental approval, and “worldly successes” for… what?  To “follow God’s call”?  Does that sound like a little TOO MUCH God to you?

Well when God calls you to something – you know.  It’s not that you don’t question … why?  or how?… or “are you sure?”  But deep down in your soul – you KNOW the answer He desires for you and anything else just isn’t going to work.

I tell you, it was very humbling to read some of Katie’s journal entries – her struggles, and still – her victory in Christ, and her rejoicing… and yet, in some small way – I could relate.  I don’t live in Uganda, and I have nothing of the circumstances she has… but yet, often times I’m asked,

How do you do it?”… or

Why do you do this…?”

This could be having 8 children in 10 years, being open to life in a world that says two is almost too many (hey I agree, traveling would have been a lot easier!)… home schooling… you name it.  Even about being healthy, people think I must have some super-powers to be able to workout late at night, or not eat myself silly during stressful times…

Honestly?

It’s nothing of me.  I’m NOT special.  I don’t have super powers… and I truly don’t think of me as “doing” any thing as anything other than obedience to His call for us.  Sure, we could have chosen other things – but that wasn’t our calling… and not each call can be the same.  God uses ordinary people – He always has.  That is all I am.  Just like you.

In the book, Katie talks about all of the ordinary people God used – Moses, Jonah, David, Mary, Paul… and then she shared this:

“Sometimes, the everyday routine of my life feels so normal to me.  At other times the idea of raising all these children seems like quite a daunting task.  I realize that since I have chosen an unusual path it is easier for outsiders to look at my life and come to the conclusion that it is something extraordinary.  That I am courageous.  That I am strong.  That I am special.  But I am just a plain girl from Tennessee.  Broken in many ways, sinful and inadequate.  Common and simple with nothing special about me.  Nothing special except I choose to say “yes”.  “Yes” to the things God asks of me and “yes” to the people He places in front of me.  You can too.  I am just an ordinary person.  An ordinary person serving an extraordinary God.”

AMEN.  That about sums it up for me.
So, when you’re feeling like you can’t say NO to that temptation of food… or you’d rather say NO to exercising.  Remind yourself that you’re saying YES to God, and His plan for your health.  It’s okay to say no to things… it means we’re saying yes to something else.  Self-denial is unconventional for sure… but sometimes it’s really worth it.

“For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.”  -Romans 11:29

For what it’s worth, Katie has a blog that tells what she’s up to.  Check it out if you feel led! 🙂

Worth It or NOT?

Whoa.... crazy image of what these are worth in "workout" calories.

My friend Kori shared this picture image with me yesterday. (Thanks Kori!) It’s a great picture of what we should have in our minds as we consider our non-necessity foods…

Yes, I know… donuts are NOT a necessity.  Who knew?

I looked at a few of those and thought – NO WAY is that worth it.  Now… there are plenty of things out there that are worth it – just make sure it IS worth it to you.

Just a shout out to Kori – who has been on an “Insanity” challenge.  Way to go!  For those of you who have done some of the Insanity workouts, they’re not for the faint of heart.  Kori was an encourager to me years ago to try out Jillian Michaels and the 30 Day Shred.  I never did it as a 30 day workout challenge – but I kept improving, and working at it.

I still go back to Jillian now and then for a quick workout that works – but God has allowed me to be able to tackle much longer, and more difficult workouts…  and for that, I’m thankful.

What workouts are you enjoying right now?

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”

Psalm 86:5

Out Eat Your Work Out

Do you really need tips on how to gain weight?  Probably not.

Most of us could figure out a way to gain weight….   add in more of our favorite fatty foods and desserts…  take about a month hiatus off of working out.

Seems easy enough.  It can actually happen more simply, and quietly than that, even when you’re working so hard for the opposite effect.

As our metabolism naturally slows as we age, we need few calories.

It’s a bummer.  I know.

The shorter you are, the fewer calories you need.

AGAIN … can be a bummer, and why a lot of women get frustrated with the husbands.  It’s true, if we’re built differently, and most of us are… our caloric needs are different too.

I look at my kids devouring things and burning calories like the pros.  Their heart rates are also going about twice as fast as mine while resting.  They’re growing… they NEED those additional calories from good nutrition.

I just WANT the extra calories.  My body certainly doesn’t need as many as I’d love to squeeze in on any given day…  especially the types of calories I’m prone to desire.

We hit on hidden sugar this week… a nice little eye opener on where things can get way off track quickly, but a great reality check.

Nothing burns me more than seeing a “balanced” breakfast portrayed with 2 eggs, 2 pieces of a “wheat toast” (Not even WHOLE wheat – but just to make it sound healthy!) and then a TALL glass of Orange Juice (worth 2 servings)…  all the while – people think they’re making good choices because this is what has been shown to us.

If you’ve just started your day off in the red like that – overloaded on carbs, don’t wonder why you’re crashing at your desk at 10am.  Unless you’re super physically active at your job – you probably don’t need that many calories, or carbs…  you can still make better choices.

If you’re going to be realistic with what your body NEEDS…  you’d be better off having a 1/4 to 1/2 of an orange, cutting out a piece of toast and skipping the added sugar in that juice!  Some might even suggest taking those eggs back to just egg whites… but for me, I need that protein, AND… I don’t fight cholesterol issues.

Here are just a few more examples on how small changes in your diet can subtract OR … add up!  (these are estimates!)

Apple = 130 calories, Banana = 170… a serving size is HALF that – so 65 calories. vs.  85.  Might not seem like much right?  But if you only chose banana servings vs. apples – after 7 days that’s  140 additional calories, and after 1 month, that’s 560 additional calories, and after ONE YEAR… that’s 6750 additional calories.. {and if not worked off} – over a pound of FAT without even trying!

That’s fruit people.  Yes, it’s something we need, but that’s why portion size, and calorie intake are so important.  Just because we’re eating real food, that is good for us… doesn’t mean there still isn’t knowledge to be had!  Be energized and aware!  Ask God to put a new song in your heart.

Let’s take a look at some others…

Green bean serving?  40 calories, Corn?  140 calories…. Hmmm….  YES, corn is more of a fruit, and fruits ARE higher in natural sugar.  Natural sugar… is still sugar.  Keeps your wits about you.  Personally I *love* my green veggies.  I love corn too – but we often mix a little corn in with our green veggies, for added color.  We can get our fix without having so much sugar (for what we consider our veggie serving!)

Bran flakes… good for you – right?  about 200 calories per serving.  Now let’s compare with granola… of course this can vary – but MOST people would consider granola a great choice.  I used to top it onto my yogurt and it is very tasty.  While it can be good for you – just like fruit, moderation is the key.  A full serving of some granola can load up to 780 calories!  Whoa!!!!   I won’t do the math for you… but you can imagine the difference in a year…  So while many people are working out, and consuming a bunch of “healthy foods” – you can see how easy it is to out-eat your work-out!

How about drinks?  Cooking with milk vs. water is always going to add in calories…. juices – as you saw on that website yesterday, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.  While again you can have a “good thing” – sometimes it can be way too much of a good thing.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth,  a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in Him.” – Psalm 40:1-3

 

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Discovering Your Health Monster

With all of the hub-bub about Paula Dean’s hidden Type II diabetes announcement… I thought I’d say, we need not be in fear of desserts and other things that seem to stress people out.  Is her announcement REALLY any surprise?  No.  Common sense can tell you if you ate what she cooks 365 days a year … you’re going to feel and look like a tank.  That said, diet isn’t the only thing going on with diabetes… but eating right is 80% of the equation in losing excess weight, so it’s important to know how to eat right.

The keys are self-control {a fruit of the Spirit}, and moderation.  IF you lack self-control, you’re probably going to REALLY lack moderation ability…  and that’s where you’re going to need the Holy Spirit.  That said, you will find strength in finding new ways to enjoy LESS the things you love.  Don’t do it with the mindset that you’re depriving yourself.  Remember that you’re filling your mind with Truth, and education so that you’ll WANT to make choices that help you to feel well and function at your best for His glory.  Do NOT live in fear over food.  Make better choices.

How about a healthified monster cookie recipe?  YUM!  These are some of our favorites:

Some of the softest, yummy cookies!

HEALTHIER MONSTER COOKIES 

1 1/4 cups organic sucanot

2/3 cup light agave

3 eggs

1/2 cup butter or 1 cup natural applesauce

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp. baking soda

4 cups of oatmeal (or often I use 3 cups, and one cup of whole wheat/white flour so they have a little rise)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

1/2 cup dark choc. M & Ms

** any other extra you might like to add… white chocolate chips or health toffee bits… 🙂 🙂  I said healthier.  NOT perfect.

 

Preheat over to 350 degrees

In large bowl beat together butter/applesauce, peanut butter, sucanot, agave, eggs, and vanilla.  Combine well, then add in oatmeal/flour as directed.   Lastly, add in chocolates, and the goodies.  Place heaping teaspoon blobs onto pan and heat for 10-12 minutes.

 

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,

but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Cor. 10:13

He’s Doing It AGAIN!

Just in time for your NEW YEAR start… or your start over, or your beginning to a healthier for Him life…

Bob Harper is having a big sale on his DVDs HERE!

Just $5 each! GO NOW! No excuses!! 🙂 Try at least ONE of the super strength series. You’ll be so glad you did.

You can send me a thank you later. Or not.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” Ecclesiates 3:1

Workout Review Time

So, if you’re still following along – I mentioned a few weeks back that I got some new workout DVDs from Bob.  He was having a special… some friends and I teamed up and ordered a few to get cheaper shipping.  Unfortunately, the company sort of fell through on shipping all of our orders!  We each ended up only getting one DVD!  Thankfully we each got a different workout though, so we could trade them and at least see what they were about!

Despite contacting the company twice, I’ve yet to hear where my order is, and unfortunately – their big sale they were having (at $4.99-$6.99 per DVD) is now over!  I guess if we never hear something back we’ll just order again.  I’m too dedicated to get THAT upset – since I obviously haven’t been charged!

Okay…  all of that to say – these are some GREAT workouts.  The “MY WORKOUT” (meaning – Bob’s workout) is fantastic.  It has two 25-30 minute workouts, which can be done separately or together.  Personally, I wish it was set up with the first one second, and the second one first, like my friend Steph suggested – and then maybe I’d feel like doing them combined.  By the time I get done with the first part for a quick workout… I feel like passing on the second part, because the “hard work” is done.  The second one is definitely less cardio madness.  Both are still great workouts, just in different ways.  This workout is only available on Bob’s website… it’s still not available on Amazon.com.

Personally, I don’t think they’re offering it yet, because most beginners would be running for the hills after this workout… it’s high paced, and non-stop movement.  Different from his circuit training where your body takes more of a break in-between the heart throttling.  I wouldn’t suggest it being your first workout you buy from Bob Harper.

Bob's TOTAL BODY Transformation - totally worth the money!

The next workout we ordered will be available on amazon.com soon.  You can pre-order it now actually.  It’s called “Total Body Transformation” – and he says several times in the workout, “This will be the hardest workout you’ve ever done!”  I’ve done it three times so far, and it’s gotten easier every time… like most workouts.  Don’t confuse that to mean it’s easy… because it’s NOT.  It’s an arm sculpting, rear busting workout.  I spent most of the workout rotating between which part of my body hurt the worst… my arms… no, no… my legs… uuuuugh….  OUUUUCH.  LOL!  I really do have a love/hate relationship with Bob.   I keep telling myself that pain is weakness leaving the body… I’m getting stronger.  Someday I’ll have abs again!

Side note:  Women have to have about 8-14% body fat to see their ab muscles defined.  This core strength isn’t about vanity (at least for me, my bikini days are long gone, nor would I go there again if I could – modesty yo!) it’s about over all strength and back strength for LIFE!  Being healthy for Him – in every way.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” – Matthew 26:41

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