Our family just doesn’t eat a lot of lettuce. I’ve gotten pretty great at adding spinach in to pretty much anything–from smoothies to quesadillas–but it takes us awhile to use up lettuce. So when kale came with our new CSA basket, I knew I had to get creative. (especially since we don’t have chickens to feed it to! lol) I’ve been hearing about kale chips, so I thought I’d look that up. I am so glad I did! Even Tristan (our family Mikey–remember those old Life cereal commercials?) loves them and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy about the lettuce that tastes like potato chips!
Even better–it’s SUPER easy to make kale chips!
Just cut the middle stem out, leaving the leafy edges.
Put in a bowl and pour in a little bit of olive oil. I put the lid on the bowl and shook it around to coat the leaves with the oil.
Put on a baking sheet, shake on a little sea salt, and bake for about 20 minutes in a 300 degree oven.
Amazing! They DO taste like potato chips–what a great, healthy snack!
So, I started my nutritional counseling journey on August 6th. The kids and I continue to feel better. I’ve lost 7 pounds so far–without exercising. Just changing the way I eat.
The kids have cleared out almost all of the supplements they were taking. They each have one little thing they are still working on getting out of their system. I’ve cleared out most of my issues, too (Thank Goodness! I was taking 9 supplements at every meal! YUCK!). We are still facing some “gut” issues–so we are tackling those hard in the next week or so.
What I’ve noticed:
Megan’s tummy aches GONE
Josyan’s dark shadows under his eyes GONE
Josyan’s bleeding when he goes to the bathroom GONE
My headaches GONE
Energy is UP
Puffy Tummy is GONE
These are some major things that I was worried about–and I’m seeing some huge improvements.
My biggest discovery: gluten free flour from Bob’s Red Mill that is essentially grain free–and I can use as a substitute for regular flour in most of my recipes. HUGE help! And way cheaper than almond meal!
My favorite splurge: Organic sea salt potato chips (not really a splurge-yahoo!) and grain free brownies from Red Oak Bakery–OH MY MERCY! lol
Ryan is still skeptical–in part because of the crazy reports he’s getting from the kids, who don’t quite understand the process. But I know he’s noticed that I don’t look pregnant any more (ha!) and that Josyan’s dark circles have disappeared. Tristan even told him the other day that he feels better. :) The kids and I are getting better at avoiding foods that aren’t on the list, and I’d say we’re at 90/10 good choices.
Do you have any great tips for staying on track with a grain free diet? I’d love to hear them!
Well, it’s been about a month since the kids and I started our journey with Nutrition Response Testing. I think the hardest part has been learning to cook without grains, sugar, and dairy. That is a lot to cut out all at once! I have to admit that many times I was just plain hungry–and I had no idea what to make. We go through a TON of fruits and veggies, but, since we can’t have any processed foods, my grocery bill hasn’t really changed much, which is a blessing.
Some of my favorite discoveries:
1. Spaghetti Squash. Who knew that you could have spaghetti without grain! We’re still getting used to the taste of the spaghetti squash, but if you mix in the sauce really well and add some tasty meatballs, it’s actually pretty good!
2. Cashews. Speaking of meatballs, what do you use instead of bread for meatballs? Turns out you can use ground cashews. They add a great cheesy flavor and help to bind the meatballs together. 1 pound of turkey meat, 1 egg, 1/2 cup ground cashews + spices= yummy meatballs! Full recipe HERE.
3. Almond meal chocolate chip cookies. Super yummy–and made without sugar, too! Recipe HERE.
4. Chocolate Almond Milk smoothies. Ok, this may not be the healthiest alternative to milk, but add in a few frozen bananas and a tray of ice cubes, and you have a delicious breakfast!
5. Aside from the obvious exceptions (the movie theater, for example), it is very possible to eat out and eat healthy. I can order a burger with no bun, salads (of course), etc. Even chicken strips and french fries, though not the healthiest items on the menu, still are ok if I take off the breading on the chicken strips.
6. Everything is easier when you have the whole family on board. We all work together and encourage each other, and it’s been so much easier than any other change I’ve tried to make. Because we are all working together for a common goal.
Results so far:
1. I lost 6 pounds in the first 2-3 weeks, and my belly is noticeably flatter.
2. Megan hasn’t had a tummy ache!
3. I feel terrible when I eat refined flour & sugar. :(
4. Less headaches!
5. Ryan still thinks we’re crazy, but he’s beginning to see the light! :)
We are all still fighting off some sneaky bugs that seem to be hiding out in our bodies, but we are all feeling much healthier and happier. Of course, the way we are eating has a lot to do with that, but I really think the supplements are helping a lot, too. :) I’m looking forward to the next four weeks!
When I first met Leslie at a Heart Link meeting, I was intrigued by her demonstration of how something as simple as muscle testing can reveal what the body needs. By the time I completed my first appointment on Saturday, I was in awe. What a super cool thing! Just by testing my body’s response to different foods, etc, Leslie was able to determine what kinds of supplements I needed to help my body heal itself.
I found out, for example, that I need to take iodine for thyroid support and a certain kind of gut flora to help heal my gut. And I found out that I’m actually allergic to certain types of gut flora–maybe why probiotics didn’t help me all that much? I also found out that, at least for now, my body does not like grains…any grains–including corn, oats, even sprouted grains! Or milk. Or most cheeses. Except the ones I don’t like! ;)
The best part is that all of this was done without blood tests or any other invasive testing–just a simple muscle response test. It’s only been a few days, but I already feel better. Maybe it’s the new diet–free of sugar and grains–or maybe it’s just knowing that I’m not terribly ill–I just have to fix a few things and I’ll be feeling 100% again for the first time in several years. I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel about all this a few weeks from now. :)
SO in the meantime…does anyone have any fantastic ideas for grain-free foods that kids will like? (because it turns out their bodies don’t like grains, either!)
A friend of mine, Adam Packard, is in the process of reading a personal development book every day for 365 days. (Check it out HERE!) This is definitely a challenge I want to undertake at some point in the next few years, but for now I’m enjoying the little tidbits of wisdom I get from his facebook status updates!
A few weeks ago, Adam posted a review for a book called Carrots & Sticks, by Ian Ayres, that really got me thinking. He says, “If you’ve ever tried to meet a goal and came up short, the problem may not have been that the goal was too difficult or that you lacked the discipline to succeed.” In fact, he says, the problem may have been simply that the reward was not great enough!
As women, we are all trying to lose weight and be thinner, prettier, etc, whether we need to or not. That’s another post. But most of us use weight as a measurement of achieving our goals. I have a pretty nice reward for getting to my goal–a whole new wardrobe! But, in spite of the reward, it wasn’t enough motivation to keep me going. I’d be so focused on that weight goal that every time I stepped on the scale, I’d be discouraged and figure–”Who cares, anyway? I just want a cookie!” Sound familiar?
So, this week, I decided to combine what I know about rewards with what I know about women and meeting goals–namely that women do better with activity goals than results goals. So, I set up a really fun reward–basically a makeover for me–if I stick to my activity for two weeks. Nothing has really changed–except my focus is on completing my activities (eating right & exercising), rather than on getting to a certain weight. Guess what?! It’s working!
If you are having trouble meeting your goals (and you know they are SMART goals), try combining a great reward with an activity goal, rather than a results goal. I think you’ll amazed at the difference it makes!
Slowly, but surely, over the past several years, our family has been moving towards a healthier lifestyle. We’ve tried out raw milk, moved to eating only organic foods on the Dirty Dozen list, and bought grass fed, local beef and chicken at the local farmer’s market. I even tried out soaking grains and cooking with sourdough. We still prefer rice soaked for a few hours, but I gave up on the sourdough because I felt like I was taking care of a newborn! Lately, I’ve been trying to cook more vegetarian meals and use a little less meat.
Last night, on the recommendation of a friend, I watched Forks Over Knives (watch free on Netflix), which advocates an essentially vegan lifestyle–no animal products. There is no question that the people highlighted in the film are healthier after beginning this new diet. And I think that making small changes moving towards a more plant-based diet is a smart move. I don’t know that I would discount meat and dairy altogether, despite the benefits showcased on this film. I would like to see the studies discussed in the film replicated with meat and dairy produced outside of factory farms. Do people who eat grass fed beef and drink raw milk have the same issues? Many well-respected researchers, including Jordan Rubin of The Maker’s Diet and Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions, advocate eating organic meats and fermented dairy. It would be worth looking into.
In the meantime, we are going to continue taking baby steps towards a healthier diet. I encourage you to do the same. Here are some easy steps you could take today (just choose one!):
1. Only purchase organic versions of the Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies.
2. Eat just one vegetarian meal every week. Or have fruit for breakfast instead of cereal just one morning.
3. Buy organic grass-fed beef instead of your regular hamburger.
4. Buy free-range organic eggs.
5. Cut down on the amount of meat/milk your family consumes. Try stretching a package of hamburger for two meals. Our family of five only consumes about a gallon of milk in a week–can you cut down on your dairy consumption?
6. Cut out one processed food–soda? chips? Or replace with an organic alternative. One of our favorites is “fizzy juice”–just mix half 100% juice and 1/2 carbonated water.
Remember, just one step at a time. It’s like building endurance in exercise. You start out with 2 lb weights, then move up to 5, etc. As you get stronger, you can handle the weights that you couldn’t dream of lifting at the beginning. It’s the same here–just take one small step. When that is easy, try something else.
You know, I was talking to my kids this morning–I want to be the 80 year old woman jogging through the park in the film. I want to be healthy and active–and I want the same thing for my kids. If making these changes will help me do that–for me and for them–then it’s worth the sacrifice. Now to watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead…maybe. :)
Think about the last few conversations you’ve had with your “Mom” friends. What topics of conversation almost always come up? I’m guessing that diet and exercise is one of them. Does the number on the scale in the morning determine how you feel about your day? Yourself? Seriously–how much do you stress about how you look? Here’s an even bigger question–how much of your attitude about these issues gets transmitted to your daughter(s)?
The other day, I was taken aback by a picture of a mom who looks…well, too thin. (How many of you are thinking RIGHT NOW, “I’d rather be too thin than too fat!”? lol) Seriously, though, it made me think about what standards I have for myself. I know the right words to say–I am concerned with being active and eating right–being healthy is more important than being thin, etc, etc. BUT is that the value that I’m passing on to my daughter? Or am I teaching her that being thin is everything–even when that thin is too thin?
Truthfully, I’d rather look like that high school version of me–the me who ate toast for breakfast, an apple for lunch, and broccoli and fresh bread for dinner and ran every day (yes–that’s all I ate most days!). I would rather be too thin than what I am now…but that’s not what I want for my beautiful daughter–I want her to establish healthy habits and to be beautiful because she is who she is–active and healthy, not artificially thin, and with a beautiful heart.
An article in Success Magazine this month focuses on “Your LOOKS.” The article combats the notion that most of us (regardless of what we SAY) have about beauty–that it’s about makeup and fitting into your skinny jeans–and says that “beauty isn’t some vapid and superficial pursuit that exists solely to sell products…beauty, my dear, appearance-obsessed friend, is health.” Hmmm…Health is beauty. That’s an interesting thought. The authors (Drs. Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen) claim that beauty was the way that people assessed the health of their possible future mates–it indicated health. (Interestingly, the article goes on to discuss ways to keep looking young, which seems to contradict their earlier statements…but that’s another blog post. lol)
The video (Warning: it’s graphic) below has been circulating on Facebook, and a friend shared it with me after a conversation about this topic. Our daughters (and us, too!), as you will see in this video, are inundated with images that tell them they need to be super thin, big breasted sex objects whose best quality is not what lies within their hearts or minds, but what men can see from the outside.
Yes, if you’re like me, you monitor what your daughter(s) watch, listen to, read, etc. But my point really is–in the world she lives in, does my daughter see me supporting these images with my own choices and values–or does she see me living out something else, something that is honoring God and my femininity? Because, despite what we are told, we are the biggest role models in our daughters’ lives.
Megan is looking at me to see how I interpret these images and messages from the media–and not just what I say, but what I DO. Do I show her WITH MY ACTIONS that health and inner beauty are the most important thing (by being active and choosing good foods and focusing on being a better me) or that my weight and what I look like are the most important thing to me (by being obsessed with the scale and dieting)? I don’t think she needs to see more women in office, etc, to understand true beauty and her worth, but she needs to see me living out these values every day. Because how I allow the media to change my actions and values is how they will change hers.
This morning, I stepped out of my front door for my morning run–and the heat and humidity took my breath away, even at 8 am! But, I put on my running shoes and started walking anyway. And as I walked, a cool breeze started to blow. I don’t know where a cool breeze is coming from in central Texas today, but that breeze made my task seem easier! The run was just as hard, but that cool breeze was refreshing and gave me a little bit of extra strength.
I started thinking that God is like that cool breeze in my life. Yes, there are tough things. Hard things that I have to walk through. Days it feels like I’m just taking it one step at a time. But with God, those hard things are just a little bit easier to handle. I still have to go through them, just like I had to make it to the end of my run, but God is the cool breeze that allows me to breathe easier and just enjoy the journey.
So, today, I am thankful for cool breezes on hot, humid July mornings and for God’s refreshing in my life.
Have a great day!
The response I received from PepsiCo…either they need to do a little more research on the companies they are partnering with, or they need to work on their honesty with consumers.
Sent: Fri, April 1, 2011 1:00:26 PM
Subject: A Message from PepsiCo Consumer Relations 012652145B
Thank you for contacting us to share your sincere concerns. Please know that we take very seriously the issues you raised. PepsiCo has a strong set of defined values we strive to live up to.
Unfortunately, there is some misinformation being circulated related to research techniques that have been used for decades by universities, hospitals, government agencies, and private companies around the world. These claims are meant to suggest that human fetal tissue is somehow used in our research. That is both inaccurate and something we would never do or even consider.
It also is inaccurate to suggest that tissue or cells somehow are being used as product ingredients. That’s dangerous, unethical and against the law. Every ingredient in every one of our products is reviewed and approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
We hope this information is helpful and reassuring. Thank you again for reaching out to us and allowing us to clarify the situation.
Consumer Relations Representative
I appreciate your thoughtful response. I am still concerned, though, because it is clear that PepsiCo is working with Senomyx. As stated in this article on PepsiCo’s website, the PepsiCo relationship includes Senomyx’ research on “natural” flavorings that will change the way human taste buds respond to flavors. In the patents for this research, filed in 2008, it is stated that HEK293 is used. From this information, it is clear that they are using human fetal tissue from aborted babies to do their product development. This is not a “claim,” but a proven fact. While some may question whether or not it really matters…the exploitation of a dead human child for researching food flavorings is never appropriate or ethical. I hope that PepsiCo will reconsider its relationship with this company.
Karen Palmer, MA