Monday, January 20, 2014

Food and Resolutions

I have stopped and started this post a couple of times now.  First it was going to be just a Happy New Year post.  Then it was going to be a post reflecting on the passage of time.  But what I REALLY want to talk about is food.  

And a little about Resolutions. 

I usually don't make "New Year's Resolutions". I figure if I can't make a change in June I'm not going to make it in January either.  I'm either committed to making a change or I am not.  I either have a compelling reason to make a change or I do not.  Just knowing that making the change (whatever it might be) is or would be good for me doesn't convince me to follow through with it.  I have to have decided deep down in my mind and will that it needs to be made.

I think I'm there.

I have a lot of things not functioning properly in my body and for the first time I'm going to get really specific right here in writing.  

#1 - I have recently come to understand that the chronic condition I have struggled with since I was 8 years old is an auto-immune disease.  That is psoriasis.  NO ONE, EVER, suggested that diet could help. NO.ONE. In my recent reading I have learned that people with auto-immune conditions should avoid nuts, nightshades, eggs and dairy.
Have I ever mentioned my favorite sandwich is fresh tomato and cheese slathered with mayonnaise?

#2 - and on that note...about a year ago I learned that I have non-celiac gluten intolerance. 

Scratch the favorite sandwich off the list.

#3 - Since last December, when I had surgery on my nose, I have been struggling mightily with fatigue issues.  It was finally determined that due to the anesthesia and subsequent use of pain killers that my adrenal function was...well...not functioning. In other words I simply do not produce an adequate amount of cortisol to function optimally.

#4 - I also, while technically in the "normal" range on lab tests, have a low functioning thyroid.
Yeah...that will make you tired too...and fat.

#5 - and let's just top it all off with a little IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). 

I take vitamin B supplements, probiotics, natural thyroid medication, vitamin D, 5-HTP, Milk Thistle,  iron and Beta-Carotene.  I've known for awhile that what I really need to address is my diet.  And so I have been reading and implementing little changes here and there.  

I've read about the GAPS diet.  
Very briefly it is very restrictive but has been shown to be a way of healing the gut.
I'm just not mentally ready to go there...or I'm not quite desperate enough yet.  Though I probably should be.

I've done the "Candida Diet" in the past.  Because that is something I struggle with too. 

I just bought The 21 Day Sugar Detox book and recipe book.  
This is definitely a direction I want to head but I'm not ready yet. 

So what is it I am going to do? 
Yep that's the question I have been asking myself.  
Because I'm not the only one in the family that needs to address gut and dietary issues.

Well, at this point, a Paleo path looks do-able.  I can eliminate most of the foods I need to and still eat tasty, healthy food in satisfying quantities. And I can prepare food the rest of my family will enjoy.
Because if there is one thing I have learned in the past it is that cooking two separate ways for every meal is daunting and discouraging.

And then there is coffee. 

I love the comfort of it in the morning.  I love sharing it with a friend or loved one.  
I love to think of it as my treat and the end of a big grocery shopping trip.
But I also like to load it with creamy sweetness.
So it ends up being two drugs rolled into one....sugar and caffeine.
Two drugs I need to get out of my life.

So pray for me if you think of it.  This is a struggle that I am going to be working on this year to not be struggling with.  

My "resolution" is to get healthy this year.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food and Grace

I have had a post rattling around in the back of my mind for several days now.
It has to do with food, food sensitivities and grace.

In the last year I have been struggling with finding food I can eat without feeling horrible afterward.  I have found myself declining perfectly scrumptious looking food offered to me by people who have lovingly prepared it for my enjoyment.  I have struggled at the food court in the mall figuring out what I might be able to put in my mouth without repercussions the next day.  I've stood, mildly embarrassed, in line at Subway while they prepared my gluten free sandwich.  (It requires that they change plastic gloves, get out special knives and toast the gluten free bread. All while someone behind me waits a little longer than usual to order their sandwich.)
I have stood in my own kitchen, 
trying to decide what to eat that will not only be good for me but satisfy me. 
It's a challenge.
And I write all this, not to complain but to give you a picture of what it's like inside the body of someone who struggles with food in this way. 

I have not always had these kinds of dietary difficulties.  I used to eat just like everyone else.  I ate fresh baked bread (I miss that A.LOT.), enjoyed cheesy macaroni casseroles and had two hard boiled eggs every morning for breakfast.  
I'm not saying it was always the most healthful eating but at least I could eat without feeling sick afterward. 

Then about six or seven years ago after having a treatment of antibiotics for a sinus infection, I had to treat a candida overgrowth in my gut.  I adhered to a strict meat and veggie diet for about two months.  I eschewed coffee, milk, sugar, breads, cheeses, pickles and mushrooms for two entire months!

I felt so much better and actually returned, slowly, to regular eating with ease.  

Then we went to Africa.  

And it wasn't anything I ate in Africa that changed things.  No.  It was the six weeks of being on anti-malarial drugs and the powerful antibiotic I had to take when we returned home that did me in.
(And the reason I had to take the antibiotic was because of some bug caught on our 18 hour flight from Africa to the U.S.)

My gut was a wreck.
My gut still is a wreck. Maybe not as a big a wreck, but a wreck nonetheless.

I could go into all the gory details for you but I don't think you really want to know.

So what am I hoping to accomplish in writing this post for all three of you who will read it?

I supposes I am laying out a blanket apology for refusing your wonderful looking and smelling food.

A lot of people these days are going gluten free to help them lose weight.  While that is a great by product of being gluten free, it is not my reason. 

Some people are dairy free for the same reason, instead using soy, almond, rice or one of the amazing variety of "milks" on the grocery shelf. 
Again that is not my reason...I would love to drink some of the delicious raw milk we purchase every week from our local dairy farmer, but my intestines rebel.

And then there are eggs. 
 We have six lovely biddies.  
They faithfully produce eggs for us on a daily basis.  I can sort of handle the eggs if they are baked into a gluten free something.  I cannot handle them by themselves.

I should tell you that I am not allergic to any of these foods.  I simply have sensitivities to these foods that warrant avoidance.  And I have found that when I do eat them I usually end up feeling pretty awful for a few days afterward.

you may be asking, 
"Why is she telling me all this?"

Well, you know, it's that time of year.
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Apple Pie ala Mode

Turkey with Bread Stuffing

Buttery Dinner Rolls


.....and the list goes on and on.  
I will be saying no a lot. 
And I am asking that you please not be offended.  
It's not your wonderful food.  
It's my lousy gut.

Be assured I am doing things and eating healing foods that may allow me to one day enjoy these foods again.  And I look forward to that greatly.

And I am learning....learning about graciousness.  
Learning about extending grace to others who seem to have odd or picky tastes.
Learning about extending grace to those who get frustrated with me because I seem picky.
Learning that God is close to me always.
Learning to lean on Him.
Learning to draw my strength from Him.
And learning that there are others who have walked the path before me.
Learning to listen and learn from their experiences.

And trusting...
Trusting that He will work all things out for my good and His glory.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
~Romans 8:28


Monday, September 9, 2013

Sooooo long.
Not as in good-bye...
But Soooooo long as in...
It's been Soooooo long since I blogged last.  
Well (sigh) I've been a little busy.  
Busy raising children.
I admire people who can write right through the raising part.  I seem to need time to reflect.
Reflect on where we have been....
What has happened...
What have I learned in this busy season?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
Lean not on your understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your paths.
~Proverbs 3:5-6

When things are uncertain...
When people are lost...
When the day is dark...
When hard choices need to be made...
When I have no control...
When I don't understand...
When I am tired and wrung out...
Trust Him.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, 
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
~Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I continue to muddle along. 

After I had Sweetpea there was a feeling of renewal; of starting over. 

I thought perhaps after bringing home Bouncy I might have a similar feeling. 

Instead I feel overwhelmed pretty much on a daily basis.  I can't keep up with least not to my own satisfaction. 

I would like very much to be like the newest feline member of our family, Rosie, (that's her above) and be able to chase a bit of fluff and feel absolutely content.

I keep reading things about finding my joy and strength in Jesus Christ by keeping myself utterly focused on Him.  I get it.  I've had times in my life when I've done that.  I have verses hidden in my heart to help me with that.

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.
 Because his mind is stayed on You.
Isaiah 26:3

Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10

I am trying to do that now.  But (you knew the 'but' was coming right?), I am having a hard time. 

I'm exhausted for one thing...constant intense parenting will do that to you.  And when you sign on for constant intense parenting.  And not just your adopted child.  Our bio kids need extra parenting too. 

If I weren't able to remind myself that this is all God's plan.  If He had not blessed me recently with seeing what the adoption road looks like nine months down the road I think I would huddle in my bathtub in a puddle of tears. 

I am so grateful that He has allowed me to see what things look like as time goes on.

I am so grateful for promises like this.

The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:11


Thursday, January 5, 2012


This is what we really need around here. 
Since we have been home from Afric@ we have had one day of precipitation. 
Rain, that is.
And according to friends that was all the rain that has rained since the end of October.
It's getting a little dry.
We are praying for rain and snow. 
I really wouldn't mind a little snow for the kids to play in.
  And we would all like to do some snowshoeing this year.
So let is snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This is what I wish I was doing.  I wish I could ignore all the dusting, vacuuming, laundry, dusting and cooking.  I wish I could just sit by the fire and embroider or crochet or practice knitting.  I also wouldn't mind doing some sewing.  I want to myself.

I love my family and I really would not want to go a day without them.  I just wish I had a housekeeper to do all the stuff I don't want to do.  All the stuff I feel like I need to do BEFORE I can sit down and do the stuff I want to do. 


Back to reality with the broom, duster and vacuum.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where Have I Been?

A view from our veranda.
Where have I been?  I finally return to blogging, blog twice and then disappear again!

Well, I've been on the other side of the planet...literally, I've been on the other side of the planet

On October 28th my husband and I boarded a British Airways flight and began a 10,000 mile journey to Ug@nda, Afric@.  Twenty-eight hours later we landed and began a 6 week odyssey to obtain legal guardianship of our third child, a little girl.  She is officially eight years old and I will call her Bouncy here in my blog. 

Right now I am not ready to delve into a lot of the details of our trip.  It really does take a while to process all that I've seen and experienced.  We were in a totally different world from our everyday world.  We were challenged in ways we had never been challenged before.  We grew in ways we never knew we could or would.  And now we have a precious little girl that has joined our family.  And we are being challenged in all kinds of new ways!

As time goes on I hope to share some of what we experienced and some of the things God is teaching us in this new world of adoption.  Truly I never thought it would be something that we would do but God had other plans.  Adoption is what He does everyday with each of us and now He is letting us in on that, and showing us His heart.

Well, I really am here today just to check in.  I hope and pray each of you are enjoying your Christmas and looking forward to the New Year ahead!