Friday, November 2, 2012

News from North Dakota - The search for a Church

The final post about our journey to ND these past few months includes that of finding a new church for our family to attend. I think this process has been more difficult for me than for Phil. While he and S were out here during July and August they visited a couple churches and found one that they liked. They went there on Sundays during their month long stay. When we arrived in ND as a family in September our family began attending this church.

A little background here will allow you to understand my personal struggle a little better. When we made the move to New Holstein WI a few years ago Phil found our church, First Baptist of Kiel and I was completely at peace with the choice and easily transitioned. I loved the fact that the church had many young families with a heart to disciple their own children as well as work together as a "community" to instruct each others children. It took me a couple years before I really felt like I developed a deep friendship and that was with our associate pastors wife. When we left the area in September, we spent our last night in WI with their family, as Phil was very close to Pastor S too. Not only was the fellowship sweet with so many of the families in our church, the way the church functioned was so wonderful. When we joined the church was going through a building project and I really enjoyed how the leadership and families worked together to make our church one in which we could worship, fellowship, welcome visitors, and have a space where kids could be kids. I'm afraid that all the excellent ways that our church handled things over the years made me feel so at home, that leaving there has been tough. The church people became our "family", especially since we had no family in the area. Our times at church were refreshing, encouraging, convicting, and over all a blessing. So my expectations for a new church were very much so on the high side.

That being said, I found that I enjoyed the preaching at our new church, it was biblical, pertinent, and well done. Appreciated that there were many young families, a few were members and some are considering membership. There is a wonderful Senior population just like we had at our old church (I miss you Jean & Lou Eva!), and the church has a great spirit. On several occasions I shared with Phil my "concerns" about this or that.... of which I will not expound, and after several weeks of attending Sunday services, attending a planning meeting and business meeting, spending time with the pastor and one of the trustee's we decided that this is the church that God wants us to join. The day we made this decision..... I cried. I miss my church family in Kiel so much, I found it really hard this time to just jump in with two feet to a new church. I know that my struggle is more emotional than the church isn't right. After all, there are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people! We went forward this past Sunday and made public our desire to join the church and I'm very excited about how God is directing. I know that we will be blessed by the ministries and people in this church and pray that our family will be a blessing in return.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

News from North Dakota - Weight, Health, and Life

I get emails often from folks that have been encouraged to lose weight and better their health by watching me as I journey through the obesity battle. I will continue to say that I am a work in progress and pray that someday I will have complete victory over my food addictions and battle with the bulge. I've learned over these past few months that I continue to be a stress and bordum eater. Now you might say... "HOW can you be bored?? You are a wife, have six children and ran a farm!!" Bordum is a choice. When I chose to feel that my responsibilities in life are not fulfilling I get bored. Did you notice my CHOICE of words?? I said when I CHOSE! I am a firm believer that our actions are a result of our thoughts! The Bible says in Proverbs "as a man things he is" and I agree with God on this matter 100%. What you think about you will do. If you think you are stressed, overwhelmed, unworthy, bored, your actions will coinside with those detrimental thoughts.

For me personally I learned once again that I am a total stress eater!!My stresses of these past family months totally make sense: hubby gone most of the time, moving to a new state, wrapping up the details on the farm, sorting & packing, cleaning, transitioning from a homesteading farm life to living in the big city for 30 days, living in a hotel and eating the foods they provided, then transitioning to small town life, etc. These are challenges that would stress out just about any mother of 6 right? So, I have reason to be stressed but I didn't have to chose to live in a state of stress.... and I did. I prayed about the daily challenges but found I didn't CAST them at the feet of Christ as I ought to have. So I found my comfort in food: potatoes, wheat, sugar.... and all the other foods that I know trigger instant weight gain for me. I used the excuse that I was busy, stressed, didn't have proper food around because I needed instant this or that or didn't have time..... so I chose to not eat well since June. I stopped exercising, stopped weighing and stopped controlling my impulsive eating.

If you remember back this spring I hit 148 for a brief few days. I stabilized between 155 & 165 when I was exercising. That is where I begun my spiral back into the old habits of grabbing this and that, most of which was carb and sugar laddened. Lately I've been weighing between 185 & 190 sometimes hitting 195 briefly. This week I've been starting to feel like life is returning back to normal. I'm establishing new routines that I like with the hubby, kids, house & life. I've struggled greatly these last few months about my spiraling weight gain and kept thinking I'd dive into another hcg round, only to start taking hhcg and never being able to stick to the VLCD so finally I'd give up and stop dosing.  I finally decided that for me to start a round now would be impossible. My mind is not in the proper state needed to strictly follow the VLCD and we that have done this protocol understand the level of commitment needed to do a round.

So, instead of hcg I've decided to get my body moving again. My current goal is to walk 2-3 miles a day 3 - 5 days a week, either with the Leslie Sansone DVD's I own or outside weather permitting. I'm also adding back in water. It is amazing how much MORE food I eat when I'm NOT drinking my water. My daily water goal is 3 quarts. Better food choices round out my immediate health goals.  This is a challenge since I will only be grocery shopping 1 X a month. I can pick up a few things here and there when in Bismarck on Sundays and our small town grocery store carries a few fresh items, but I'm trying to make better choices with what I have. I doubt I'll lose much weight over these next couple of months with the holidays fast approaching. BUT I do know that I'll be getting back into the habit of caring for my body better.In the new year I'll look to do an HCG round using Clinical HCG's prescription hcg.

Thankfully I still feel great though the extra weight does sometimes effect my energy level. My husband would most likely argue that statement since I've been unpacking and cleaning like crazy since our stuff arrived here on the 16th. I've got most rooms in the settled, other than hanging pictures, and am enjoying keeping our home clean and orderly. This is the first time in years that I've slipped into those flylady routines and find that  about 15 minutes in each room every day keeps us in living in a home that is welcoming and for the most part clean.

My daily routine is such that I now feel free to focus some time on me. I get up at 7 - 7:30 a.m. and get the crew up and going. Make breakfast and get the kids fed and out the door to school by 8:15. I clean up breakfast and get laundry going. Currently laundry is a challenge since my dryer broke in the move, I do not have outside clothes lines, AND the closest laundry is 15 miles away with only 2 dryers! So I do a load or 2 each day and have laundry hanging all over the place so it can dry. I keep it out of the main living area's so folks won't see underwear on the doorknobs if they stop in, and somehow I'm keeping up. If the dryer cannot be fixed within the next week or so we'll have to buy a new one. I'm going to be starting to substitute teach at the school and will not have time to keep up with hanging each piece of laundry and finding somewhere for it to dry before I run out the door in the morning.

After clean up and laundry I get to have some quite time reading the Bible and praying followed by 30-60 minutes on the piano. Then I usually do my walking, followed by lots of water, lunch, and some time on the computer. I then do pick up and cleaning throughout the house and get dinner ready. When I start to teach I'll make use of my crock pot so dinner will be easy to pull off, and I'll have to reserve my cleaning for the days that I'm not called in to work. Thankfully the kids are learning new habits, like keeping all toys and books in the family room, keeping up with their bedrooms, making beds, etc., and helping me to keep things in order when they are home. Little clean up times here or there keep the place functional and more fun for us all!

So, there is the long and the short of it. I'm not happy about my weight, but am changing my choices so that each day will be a little better than the last. I love our new place and the routines it is allowing me to develop that are giving me the opportunity to create a peaceful welcoming home for my crew, and I'm so very thankful that God is helping me to forgive myself and move on!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

News from North Dakota - Settling into the house

Hello my online friends and family!

Grab a cup of coffee, tea or a bottle of water and settle in... this update will most likely by a long one! LOL! 

We are settling into our rental home in the quaint little town of Hazelton North Dakota. The last few months have been quite the journey for our family. Through it all we have grown closer, learned much and are continuously thankful for God's provision through each step of the way.

The children are settling into a good routine at their new school. Which by the way... I LOVE our school! It is nice and small, just over 90 students in K - 12, which gives me the opportunity to easily communicate with the teachers and keep up with what is happening with each child. Our home is located on the same block as the school which makes for a quick walk each day for the kids. Once again we've been blessed with a tremendous staff with fabulous creative aptitude in dealing with Thomas in school. We do not yet know what services Thomas will receive from the county as we are waiting to get our first bill... who ever heard about someone being excited about a bill... Ha Ha! Once we get a bill at our new house we will be able to establish residency with the county and start the ball rolling to get services for Thomas. Overall the children have made it through these past months challenges very well: Daddy being in ND while we were in WI July - Sept 10, living in a hotel for 30 days, during which time the commute to school was 50 minutes one way, the much anticipated move, and now settling into a new house and a completely new routine with no farming.

My daughter was hired for her first job on her 16th birthday! She has since been working 2-5 days a week after school and on Saturdays. I'm excited to see how this opportunity is allowing her to develop and grow in the area of independence and discretion. I'm proud of her!

The two big boys enjoyed playing football for part of the season here at our school. It was a great time for them to get to know some of the boys in the community while giving them the opportunity to get a greater understanding of the game. We didn't get to attend many games as our hotel was hours away from most of them. Next year we'll be able to be regular attenders and cheer on the Reese Boys... and the team of course!

The littles just seem to go with the flow. Starting school 3 1/2 weeks late posed a bit of a challenge for them as they missed out on those review weeks. Our littlest guy is struggling the worst, for some reason he is not retaining words that he learned in Kindergarten, nor her words for this year. His level of retention is very small. I'm so thankful that he has such a great attitude through this all and is not discouraged about reading, even though it is a challenge for him. His teacher is wonderful and continues to help guide me on how I can best support and challenge Na through this.

The house.... one word sums it up.... WOW!I love the space but desire to do some updating so it suits our taste. Hubby took work off to help me paint and our LL's wife came over to help with the process. So, we were able to get a few rooms done before our stuff arrived. The rest will happen little by little.

Ya see, my goals for this move have been quite different from the past two moves. The past two moves focused on farming and creating independence with our food sources. This move my focus was to make a home that was ours, one in which our family would have a haven to grow, fellowship, disciple and have fun in. The past two places I never had time to make them "ours" with paint and decor. This time, I want it to be different. I want to develop a place with low stress and lots of opportunity for us to have time to nurture and disciple these six kids.  I'm not as much of a perfectionist as my parents..... but I really wanted to see some completeness here in the house itself.

So, Wednesday the 10th we shopped all day, picking up paint, electrical, and cleaning supplies to get started with this big job! Thursday and Friday the 11th & 12th saw us madly washing walls, putting up tape along the beautiful crowned molding, throwing plastic down to protect the gorgeous hard wood floors and painting daily for about 10 hours. Saturday we wrapped up with another 5-6 hours of painting then helped the previous tenant get the rest of her items out of the attic. We managed in those 2 1/2 days to get the entry room, dining room, kitchen, hallway & stairway, C's bedroom & S's bedroom painted. The hallway and stairway needed a second coat but we decided to wait until after the movers came just in case it got dinged up. I'll post pictures once I get some of the wall decor up. I had not yet found the hammer and nails! LOL!

There are many things I like about the house. The space is one thing! It has a lovely entry room/mud room that is perfect for our crew. I am going to be putting my hope chest in it, which will soon be covered with a padded seat so we can sit down to put shoes on while using the inside for storage. The chest really needs to be refinished, but I won't be able to do that until Spring when it is warm enough to do the stripping, staining and varnishing in the garage. I'd prefer to have tile or something scrubable in the entry way, but for now it is carpeted so rugs will cover the spots that get the most traffic so I won't have to clean the carpet as often.

From the entry room you can go out to the very large 2 car garage with storage room on the side. In the garage we were able to fit our 5 freezers filled with our grass fed meats from WI along the back and 2 extra fridges to hold our summer veggies and extra milk from the local Jersey farm. Currently half of the garage is still filled with boxes that we need to sort through and unpack.  I'm also able to store my 5 gallon buckets of honey and grains (over 50) along the wall that butts up to the house so I can easily access them. Once we get the garage organized we will be able to park the van in there and eventually our new car which we hope to get in the new year.

The entry room also leads up to the kitchen or down to the family room. I'll start with the down stairs. The family room will serve the purpose of being the kid's hang out space. I have book shelves in one corner that are filled with books, paper, coloring paraphernalia, and DVD's. The TV is in this room with one couch. Eventually we will have a few bean bags in this space so the kids will have more seating for movie and reading times. The floor is heated which makes it cozy, the walls have a beautiful wood wainscoting at the bottom, and the top  a floral paneling. There is a table at one end of this room where the kids can do puzzles, play games and color/draw. It really is the perfect place for these 6 kids and friends to hang out! I love it because I can hear what is going on, yet the noise of boys does not overwhelm the house. :-)

The basement also has our daughters cave. Currently it is brown paneling which will be primed and painted once we pick out E's new bedroom set. She wants this grey set that has splashes of bright pink, yellow, lime green, and teal. If this is the set we get we will paint the walls a light silvery grey to brighten the room up, then she will use her artistic ability and add splashes of the bright colors throughout the room, using the pattern of the comforter as her guide for the wall art. I think it will be great once it is done. Our big challenge for her room is getting it organized with all her stuff. This is a very tiny room compared to E's past two rooms, so organizing it with the appropriate shelves and furniture will be the biggest challenge while keeping it a fun space for her to be creative in.

There is a 3/4 bath with a large shower, toilet and sink that also houses the laundry room. This room has great storage. There are kitchen cabinets along two walls for storage of laundry supplies and towels.

Oh, forgot to mention one of my favorite spaces in the basement is the canning closet that rests under the stairway. It will be a great place to put next years garden produce and is where I'm storing much of my pantry items, spices, baking goods, bowls, etc. It also houses the basket to catch all the clothes from the second floor laundry shoot! This is a HUGE blessing as it saves me from hauling the laundry both down and up! Now I only have to haul it all up once it is dry and folded. :-) Thankfully the shoot is small enough that I'm not concerned about the boys trying to throw each other down it! LOL! We have of course had to establish the rule that ONLY clothes get thrown down, as the first week it was fun to see how many things one could throw down while hoping to hit a brother in the face who was in the basement "watching".

I'll take a moment here to inject a little blurb on the stairs.... there are over 40 stairs from the basement to the attic in this place. Over the past couple weeks of us settling in there have been many days when I've done the full trek or parts of it hundreds of times in a day, since we are storing all empty boxes and stuff that doesn't fit in this floor plan in the attic. The first few days my legs were killing me. Now I"m getting more used to it and I think these steps will keep my legs and heart in prime condition! LOL!

So, up a few stairs from the entry room leads you into the kitchen. This kitchen is large enough for me to function in well. I've always been blessed with large kitchens in all our homes. I love the fact that this kitchen has a dishwasher and am amazed as to how little time it takes me to clean up each day!

When you exit the kitchen you enter the most beautiful section of the house. The dinning room has beautiful hard wood floors, with gorgeous crowned molding around huge windows and a high ceiling. I've painted this room a light olive and will post pictures once I get the pictures hung.  I love the family meal times we have in this room. Our table fits at an angle and there is extra seating along the large radiator. I will refinish the radiator cushion with a warm color patterned material.... once I buy it! I have plants along the windowsill which ads life and color to the room. We have family meal times, and do homework in this space and it suits us perfectly!

There is a large doorway that opens up into the living room where the hard wood floor, high ceiling, and crowned molding continue throughout. The living room is painted in a light beige/tan. There is another radiator with a cushion that will be recovered in warm tones. Currently we have a beautiful antique square table in one corner and our couch along the brown paneled wall.  I'd love to re-do the wall with paneling sometime, I think it will allow the room to feel more open. Sometime in the future when we have a full week to work on it we will pull down the paneling which will most likely lead to ripping off all the plaster, then putting up studs, and drywall. It will completely transform this space and in my mind I can see how lovely it will be when it is done. My piano sits on the inner wall between the living room and dining room and will soon have a beautiful large mirror with my Grandma Conover's antique rose pictures hanging on either side of it.

From the living room you can see a beautiful landing area with antique coat hooks along the wall and the gorgeous wood banister with hard wood floors up the stairs. Above the coat hooks I hope to find a scripture verse vinyl applicay to complete this space.

There is a gorgeous heavy wood door that leads to the four season front porch. The last tenant used this space as an office. We have it set up as C's room, plus my office space. There is a large executive desk at one end, his bunk bed, and a wardrobe. We will accessorize with some shelves, antique hooks for hanging clothes, and some out doorsy stuff. We'll post pictures once it is done. Eventually I think we need to get a smaller desk for this space, but for now we are using what we have.  He loves having his own room! I stay out of it when he is home for the most part, so that he doesn't feel like his space is being invaded.

Upstairs there are three more bedrooms, our master room which needs to be painted. The littles room, which will also be painted once I get them new comforter sets. And S's room. S's room needs to be decorated but he is getting it settled and cozy in his own teen way! :-) There is a full bath that only has a tub. We'll be painting it light olive, replacing the broken vanity mirror, and putting in a new vanity light. This will have to be a 3-4 day weekend project as we have to tear down the mirror and light, fix the electrical, prime, and paint. It is a unique configuration because the stairs to the attic are in this room.

The attic is very cool! E's first statement about it was, "Daddy, daddy, I want this to be MY room!" It is a really neat space that with remodeling and heat would be an awesome teen room. BUT we need the space for storage so it will remain an attic! I love that it has stairs and not a rickety ladder. There is plenty of space for me to get organized and use it as functional storage for my extra kitchen and entertaining supplies along with all the clothes, holiday decor and other odds and ends.

So, there you have it! A verbal walk through our new space. I hope you enjoyed the tour!! LOL! I love documenting it so that in years to come I will be able to read this and look around and see how wonderfully the space was transformed into our home. We hope that our LL will allow us to remain here until Phil is transferred again, or until we decide to get a small farm. I'm completely content and do not want to move any time soon. I hope we'll be here for the full five years of this current contract, and if the contract for Phil's job is renewed, we may want to remain here longer still. I love being close to the school and as the kids get more involved in extra curricular activities I think being close will be a huge convenience for our family.

So, shall I end this post and continue on with our new news in other posts. I think so! I hope you've enjoyed catching up on some of our current happenings. I'll write two more posts today, one that will contain our health and weight update and another about our search for a new church home.

I'll end this with a funny conversation that I had with our youngest yesterday:

Yesterday I walked into the living room and smelled what I thought was gas or poop. I asked my youngest if he needed to use the bathroom. He said, "No, maybe Pansy (our Boston terrior) pooped." I looked around and said , "No, I don't see anything." Then little N said, "Maybe she forgot to do her doggy wipe after she went to the bathroom!" Ha Ha! I love seeing life through the eyes of a child!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today I'm thankful that the Lord has changed our plans. Hubby was supposed to be traveling to TX each week from July - December. Monday he received the opportunity from his company to take a position on a team where there is a new 5 yr contract starting in July. Phil has worked with the team at this college before plus we weren't sure that TX was the right fit for our family. 

So, where are we moving? Bismarck, North Dakota! We have much to finish up here around the farm over the next couple of months so our estimated time to move is mid-September. Phil will be spending time during July in Bismarck and we pray he will be able to find a house that will meet our needs within a 30-45 minute drive of where his office will be. Pray with us that he will be able to find the right home for us to rent... and soon. School starts August 23 in North Dakota and foot ball starts the beginning of August. Our two oldest boys would like to play football. If Phil is able to secure a place by the beginning of August it is possible that the older boys might move there with him so they can start Football and school on time.  This may sound like a big deal, to have Phil and the boys in ND while Eliza and I finish packing up the house with the littles, but I'm so very thankful that we'll only be apart for a few weeks rather than a few days EVERY week!

Many have wondered if we will continue trying to raise most of our food. We are wondering the same. It will depend on what type of home/property Phil can find for us to rent. We've enjoyed our time on the farm and have learned so much these past 4 years. But we've decided that it will be ok if we just have a nice little country home with a few laying hens. The boys would be able to be involved in athletics which is something we've not had time for with the farm. And the kids that want to, would also be able to become more involved with music and art opportunities. In many ways I cannot imagine life away from here, not milking my Jersey girls daily and enjoying their luscious milk and cream, but then again, I'm ready for a change. We've realized this past year that our kids are growing up SO fast. They've learned a lot about food and life these past few years. The farm has been good for us all but if we cannot continue in this lifestyle we will find the sources we need for the food we feel is important to our families health. 

We would covet your prayer as all the details get worked out. Pray specifically that we will find a house that meets our needs, that Thomas (our autistic son) does well with the transition to a new school and church, that we will find a new church in a reasonable amount of time, and that all the details regarding the move (like finding a truck to haul and keep frozen 4 freezers worth of food), will all go smoothly. We are trusting the Lord with all these things and know that He who has led us to this point will continue to guide us each step of the way.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Phase 4: Oatmeal Recipes

I don't link to other blogs/sites that often.. but this one looked WAY to yummy to NOT share! And honestly, if I post it here... I won't lose it!! HA HA HA! I'm a huge fan of soaked/fermented oats. But eating hot oatmeal in the summer is something that never happens here. These recipes look fabulous and healthy!  If you are doing the hcg protocol you'd want to wait to have them until phase 4, or enjoy these while loading! If loading be sure to add some melted coconut oil or butter right before serving to kick up the fat content! I didn't look through all the recipes on this site so please don't think I endorse them ALL just because I'm linking this one for you all to enjoy. I know that the readers here are wise in their food choices and always wanting to learn, so use your discernment and tweak recipes as needed to suit your personal nutritional needs.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


It is strawberry season here in WI. I'm blessed to be able to get my strawberries from my dearest neighbor and friend, who is Amish and does not spray her berries. She uses manure and a little miracle grow in the fall only. We have already put up about 65 pounds in the freezer and I hope to get another 30-40 pounds, if she has enough. The berries are very small this year and sparse due to the crazy spring we had. I feel bad for my Amish neighbors as many of them depend heavily on their strawberry sales each summer and this year will be a fraction of what it normally is. BUT I'm thankful for the opportunity to put these berries in the freezer for us to use in kefir smoothies, strawberry lemonade, and strawberry ice cream! And they berries have been lovely to eat fresh in my Greek Yogurt!

If you are not in the habit of buying local, please look for a farmers market in your area. I love buying from small farmers who raise their food clean and I DO ask them if they fertilize with chemicals. If they do, I pass by their table. I have found that most folks who sell at farmers markets do not. I love local fresh foods, nothing tastes better!!

 I hope you are enjoying fresh summer produce in your area!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Frozen Yogurt

I made yogurt the other day and have not had time to strain it into Greek Yogurt, so I decided to put some in my ice cream maker tonight. The end result was a creamy slightly tart ice cream. YUMMY!

Frozen Yogurt

4 cups yogurt (see my yogurt recipe here: )
2 cups cream
1 Tbsp.Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp powdered stevia or vanilla cream stevia to taste or your favorite sweetener. The original recipe called for 3/4 cup sugar but I don't usually use sugar at all.

Put all ingredients into your ice cream maker and process until ready. My ice cream maker is a 2 quart so my maximum liquid is 6 cups. If your ice cream maker is smaller then just decrease the yogurt and cream so it will fit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Homemade Flavored Liquid Stevia

Our family uses stevia as our primary sweetener the Sweetleaf flavors are our favorite. BUT I'm finding that I cannot afford them since we go through at least 2 bottles a week. I found a recipe online for homemade stevia and I altered it to make flavored stevia. Here is my recipe:

Flavored Liquid Stevia
1 1/2 Tbsp warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp extract*
1 tsp powdered stevia**
Empty bottle of the flavor you want to make, or relable old bottles to make new flavors.

Combine all ingredients. Allow to sit a couple minutes. Stir well. Pour into empty bottle.

* Here are some of the extracts I've tried: vanilla, chocolate, orange, caramel, root beer, etc. When I run out of English toffee I'm going to try combining chocolate & caramel and see if I can come up with my own version of English toffee.

** Be sure the powdered stevia you purchase does NOT have added sugar. Get a pure powdered stevia. Depending on how strong your powdered stevia is you may need a little more or a little less of the stevia. Just play with the amount until you get the sweetness you enjoy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Miscellaneous Information about Hcg, JUDDD, and MTC

As mentioned in my previous post, last night I was able to share with a group of whole food foodies how thankful I've been for the hcg protocol. I shared with them that eating good whole foods was great, but that I was not a person who was able to lose weight while doing so. I knew that if I could get the weight off I could keep it off eating real foods.

Below is some of the information I shared with the group. I'm posting it here so that they can access it, and perhaps it will be helpful to some of you as well.


Many of you already know that Kevin Trudeau gave the Hcg Protocol its "phases". Dr Simeons just had "The Diet", three weeks of no sugar and no starch, then three weeks of adding it back in. KT came up with the phases and added in the Detox Phase. Though the detox phase is not essential to the protocol I do think that it does help to cleanse the body so that the transition into the diet phase is easier. I personally followed the Eat Fat Lose Fat Diet for the health compromised from the book Eat Fat Lose Fat by Dr. Mary Eing.  I pushed myself and probably consuming more coconut oil than I should have at first which pushed my body into a major detox. I do NOT recommend that! BUT I do not think it hurts to cleanse your body by cutting out the bad foods, focusing on densely nourishing foods and adding in anti-candida foods like coconut oil for a period of time before starting the diet. That being said, would I have detoxed had I known about hcg?? Most likely NO. I would have charged into losing .5 - 1 pound a day!! But I didn't know about hcg when I did the health compromised diet, I only knew that I was in desperate need of losing weight and getting my health back.

JUDDD for slower weight loss.

I shared with the group that I realize that some people cannot wrap their heads around the strictness of the hcg protocol. It is NOT for everyone! But I do think that those who wish to lose at a slower pace with additional health benefits JUDDD is a great option. For more information on JUDDD visit:

If you want to join a support group for JUDDD that I cannot say enough GOOD things about you'll want to join this forum:

You can also purchase Dr. Johnsons book called The Alternate Day Diet. Most of the information you really need you will find on his website or through the JUDDD forum, so really the book is not a priority in my opinion.

The Hcg Protocol

See my previous post for a basic summary of the protocol.

This yahoo group is my favorite hcg group. In the files section you will find a copy of the entire Pounds & Inches Manuscript. Be sure to read the entire manuscript and take time to read over and over the section from "The Diet" through the end of the manuscript. The group owner provides an encouraging atmosphere where we help each other through the protocol as well as she takes time to post a lot of great information that will expand your health and nutrition horizons.

The very first hcg yahoo group I joined is the one below. You will find good information here. However, I find that I do not enjoy this group as much because there seems to be a negative tone. If you need straight forward protocol strict information then you might like this group. They do not discuss homeopathic hcg at all though.

Buying Hcg

The homeopathic hcg I used for my last round and am currently using on this round is listed below. You can get the original or the red labeled one that has B 12 added.  Often they offer "buy 2 get 1 free", PLUS free shipping. Making this the most affordable homeopathic hcg I've found.

I've also used this homeopathic hcg:

Rx hcg can be a struggle to find. You can go through a local clinic which is very costly, usually $200 or more for a 30-40 day phase 2. I have used Rx and did buy it from overseas, but the company I purchased it from no longer offers it. If you are looking for Rx  and do not want to go through a local clinic I would suggest that you post on one of the yahoo groups I listed above and find out what the current sources are for Rx.

Made To Crave

I  highly recommend that while you are slimming your body down that you fight the spirital battle that food is for many of us. Made To Crave by Lysa Terkeurst is a great way to help you realize that food no longer needs to be an idol, stress relief, nor reward for you. I don't know if I'd be in agreement with the food plan she suggests but her devotional and the DVD is fabulous!  I have her bible study book and love it! You can visit her website for more information about the book:

Hcg Protocol Summary

Last night I had the opportunity to talk about the hcg protocol at a local Makers Diet Meeting. I promised to get the group a summary of what was covered. This information will be on the groups website but until it is available there I wanted to post it here so the folks who were at the meeting can have access to the information.  Here is a summary of the protocol. I will make a separate post about where I purchase my homeopathic hcg , where Rx hcg can be found, a link to the original manuscript, and other information. Some of what you will read below is copied an pasted directly from the manuscript written by Dr. Simeons.

Hcg Protocol Information

Phases Recap:

Phase 1: Detox – completely NOT necessary, made up by a guy named Kevin Trudeau, not in the original protocol by Dr. Simeons.

Phase 2: 2 load days with hcg/drops, 21-40 days VLCD with drops, 2 days VLCD with no drops. Your last day with the drops will get your LDW=Last dose weight. This weight is important for you to track in Phase 3 & 4.

Phase 3: 3 weeks of no sugar and no starch. Must stay within -/+ 2 of your LDW. Details below.

Phase 4: 3 weeks slowly adding in sugar and starch. Must stay within -/+ 2 of your LDW. This phase gets longer with each round. Refer to the Pounds & Inches Manuscript for the correct time frame for each round.

A Round = loading, phase 2, phase 3 & phase 4.

NOTE with each round your total time of phase 3 & 4 lenghthens. Phase 3 is always 3 weeks but phase 4 gets longer. Here is the time frame listed out:

Round 1, P3 is 3 weeks, P4 is also 3 weeks.

Round 2. P3 is 3 weeks, P4 is 5 weeks.

Round 3, P3 is 3 weeks, P4 is 9 weeks

Round 4, P3 is 3 weeks, P4 is 17 weeks

Round 5, P3 is 3 weeks, and P4 is 21 weeks

Maintenance: For the rest of your life any time you go +2 of your LDW you will correct. If you do not monitor this you will not notice you are gaining based on how your clothes feel. The fat will be evenly distributed after following this protocol. So continue to weigh your self often and correct as needed.

Phase 2: You may want to take potassium 4-99 mg tablets a day. This is equivalent to a banana and will help prevent potassium deficiency. Magnesium can be taken to help keep the bowels regular. This is the ONLY food list, diet instructions you follow. There are a lot of modified versions out there, this is the correct one the one that will give you the highest level of success and greatest losses. This is a direct copy and paste from the Pounds & Inches Manuscript.

The Diet
The 500 calorie diet is explained on the day of the second injection to those patients who will be preparing their own food, and it is most important that the person who will actually cook is present - the wife, the mother or the cook, as the case may be. Here in Italy patients are given the following diet sheet.

Tea or coffee in any quantity without sugar. Only one tablespoonful of milk allowed in 24 hours. Saccharin or other sweeteners may be used.

1. 100 grams of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. The chicken must be removed from the bird.

2. One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.

3. One breadstick (grissino) or one Melba toast.

4. An apple or an orange or a handful of strawberries or one-half grapefruit.

Dinner :
The same four choices as lunch.

The juice of one lemon daily is allowed for all purposes. Salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, majoram, etc., may be used for seasoning, but no oil, butter or dressing.
Tea, coffee, plain water, mineral water are the only drinks allowed, but they may be taken in any quantity and at all times.
In fact the patient should drink about 2 liters of these fluids per day. Many patients are afraid to drink so much because they fear that this may make them retain more water. This is a wrong notion as the body is more inclined to store water when the intake falls below its normal requirements.
The fruit or the bread stick may be eaten between meals instead of with lunch or dinner, but not more than than four items listed for lunch and dinner may be eaten at one meal.
No medicines or cosmetics other than lipstick eyebrow pencil and powder may he used without special permission

Every item in the list is gone over carefully, continually stressing the point that no variations other than those listed may be introduced. All things not listed are forbidden, and the patient is assured that nothing permissible has been left out. The 100 grams of meat must he scrupulously weighed raw after all visible fat has been removed to do this accurately the patient must have a letter-scale, as kitchen scales are not sufficiently accurate and the butcher should certainly not be relied upon. Those not uncommon patients who feel that even so little food is too much for them, can omit anything they wish.
There is no objection to breaking up the two meals. For instance having a breadstick and an apple for breakfast or an orange before going to bed, provided they are deducted from the regular meals. The whole daily ration of two breadsticks or two fruits may not be eaten at the same time, nor can any item saved from the previous day be added on the following day. In the beginning patients are advised to check every meal again their diet sheet before starting to eat and not to rely on their memory. It is also worth pointing out that any attempt to observe this diet without HCG will lead to trouble in two to three days. We have had cases in which patients have proudly flaunted their dieting powers in front of their friends without mentioning the fact that they are also receiving treatment with HCG. They let their friends try the same diet, and when this proves to be a failure - as it necessarily must - the patient starts raking in unmerited kudos for superhuman willpower.

It should also be mentioned that two small apples weighing as much as one large one never the less have a higher caloric value and are therefore not allowed though there is no restriction on the size of one apple. Some people do not realize that a tangerine is not an orange and that thicken breast does not mean the breast of any other fowl, nor does it mean a wing or drumstick.

The most tiresome patients are those who start counting Calories and then come up with all manner of ingenious variations which they compile from their little books. When one has spent years of weary research trying to make a diet as attractive as possible without jeopardizing the loss of weight, culinary geniuses who are out to improve their unhappy lot are hard to take.

TIPS we have learned through our rounds:

  1. Drink a minimum of 1 gallon of plain water a day if you want to have the best and most consistent losses.
  2. Your melba/grassini must only = 20 calories a serving for a total of 40 calories a day.
  3. To figure out how many calories you are consuming in a day you total your protein servings, fruit, and melba/grassini then you fill in the rest of the calories with your 2 servings of vegetables. You will get to eat a LOT of veggies.
  4. You will have days of where you do not loose, you might gain, or you loose very little. These fluctuations in the losses are common. Just continue with the protocol and increase your water. You can read exactly what Dr. Simeons says about these issues and why they happen in the manuscript.
  5. You can divide up your food portions during the day. Example: breakfast: coffee & fruit, Lunch: protein & veggie, afternoon snack: fruit & grassini, Dinner: protein, veggie & melba.
  6. You may experience these detox symptoms for the first few days – 10 days of the diet: head ache, nausea, irritability, over all yucky feeling, cravings, hunger, etc. These are normal and will pass more quickly if you drink a lot of water. OTC pain killers can be used for the head ache. Hot tea/coffee tends to help with the hunger.
Planned Interruption: What if you have to stop the diet for some reason in the middle of phase 2. You must do a planned interruption. If you eat normally while taking hcg you will GAIN VERY QUICKLY!! A planned interruption is not to be done until you have had at 21 effective hcg doses. Please referr to the manuscript for the further details. This is a summary of how you do a planned interruption:

  1. Stop drops and weigh. That weight will be your LDW for your planned interruption.
  2. Do 48-72 hours VLCD from your last dose, make sure not to take any more drops. (a minimum of 48 hours for homeopathic and 72 hours for Rx)
  3. Start Phase 3 type eating for the duration of your interruption.
  4. Interruptions that last less than 14 days will allow you to resume the VLCD and drops any day you choose.
  5. Interruptions that last more that 14 days will require you to eat normally for the first 2 days you resume dosing then start the VLCD.
  6. I recommend that you do not to interruptions longer than 13 days and that you focus on a lot of healthy fat/protein/veggies/lower glycemic fruits, etc. in order to maintain you losses well.
  7. If you choose to eat whatever you want during an interruption you will gain. It is not required that you eat Ph 3 style for an interruption it is simply recommended if you don't want to gain weight while on your interruption.

Phase 3: No sugar NO starch for THREE weeks.

For 3 weeks you will stay within 2 pounds either side of your LDW. If you go above +2 you correct by doing a correction day. More details on correction days below. If you do below -2 of our LDW you will add in some extra fruit.

You have to be cautious during this time of even naturally occuring sugars. You will stabilize best if you eat a diet filled with fat, protein, veggies and berries with limited dairy and nuts. Below is a list of ideas to get you started.

Fat: butter, coconut oil, and lard for cooking. Olive oil and no sugar mayonnaise for your salad dressings. Once again, make your own dressings because most store bought dressings have sugar/high fructose corn(hfc) syrup in them.

Protein: eggs, bacon, sausage (no sugar), all forms of beef, chicken with the skin on, fatty fish or lean fish swimming in butter, all forms of pork.

Vegetables: greens, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, basically any vegetable that is not high in sugar or starch. Avoid carrots, peas, potatoes, and winter squash until Phase 4.

Dairy: whipping cream (in coffee or whipped up over fresh/frozen berries), butter, full fat sour cream, full fat yogurt, full fat Greek yogurt, or full fat cheese. Do not drink milk during this phase, milk has too much natural sugar in the form of lactose. You must make sure that any dairy you do use does not have ANY ADDED sugar. All dairy has some naturally occurring carbs/sugar. So read the ingredient list, if no sugar/hfc is added then you can have it!

Fruit: start with berries then add in other lower glycemic fruits. Avoid melons, grapes, banana's, some tropical fruits, and other high sugar fruits until Phase 4.

Nuts: use cautiously and in moderation. Like no more than 1 oz a day.

So how does this look for a daily menu?

Breakfast: 2-3 eggs fried or scrambled in a couple tablespoons of butter, or an omlet loaded with veggies and an ounce of cheese. 2-3 pieces of bacon. Whipping Cream in your coffee.Whole milk kefir is a great way to start your day too. 

Snack: ONLY if you are hungry: ½ cup of yogurt and a couple tablespoons of fresh or frozen berries.

Lunch: Large serving of protein cooked in fat. Vegetables, if steamed add 1-2 TBSP of butter, if fresh slather with olive oil dressings.

Snack: ONLY if hungry: protein: like hard boiled egg, 1 oz of cheese, apple with nut butter (if you do ok with nuts)etc.

Dinner: Same as lunch.

Snack: ONLY if you are hungry. ½ cup berries fresh or frozen with ¼ cup whipping cream and sweetener.

Phase 4: You will continue to find your food balance. You will add in sugar and starch gradually. Always making sure you stay within the -/+2 of your LDW. You will do this by adding in a piece of toast, a serving of oatmeal with butter or part of a potato slathered with butter and sour cream periodically and see how you do. If you go above +2 you correct by doing a correction day. More details on correction days below. If you do below -2 of our LDW you will add in some extra fruit.

Correction Days:
Please note: correction days are only used during ph 3, ph 4 and maintenance. You NEVER do a correction day during the VLCD.

In the pounds and inches manuscript there is only one type of correction day listed for when you go +2 above your LDW: This is commonly referred to as a steak day. You will choose a large steak between 22-26 ounces to eat no earlier than 4 p.m. Along with an apple or a tomato. You can season your steak and cook it in oil/butter if you desire. You MUST drink a lot of water during the day but nothing else with the exception of a cup of coffee w/ cream for breakfast. Here is how Dr. Simeons describes it:

Skipping a Meal
As long as their weight stays within two pounds of the weight reached on the day of the last injection, patients should take no notice of any increase but the moment the scale goes beyond two pounds, even if this is only a few ounces, they must on that same day entirely skip breakfast and lunch but take plenty to drink. In the evening they must eat a huge steak with only an apple or a raw tomato. Of course this rule applies only to the morning weight. Ex-obese patients should never check their weight during the day, as there may be wide fluctuations and these are merely alarming and confusing.
It is of utmost importance that the meal is skipped on the same day as the scale registers an increase of more than two pounds and that missing the meals is not postponed until the following day. If a meal is skipped on the day in which a gain is registered in the morning this brings about an immediate drop of often over a pound. But if the skipping of the meal - and skipping means literally skipping not just having a light meal - is postponed the phenomenon clues not occur and several days of strict dieting may be necessary to correct the situation.

Most patients hardly ever need to skip a meal. If they have eaten a heavy lunch they feel no desire to eat their dinner, and in this case no increase takes place. If they keep their weight at the point reached at the end of the treatment, even a heavy dinner does not bring about an increase of two pounds on the next morning and does not therefore call for any special measures. Most patients are surprised bow small their appetite has become and yet how much they can eat without gaining weight. They no longer suffer from an abnormal appetite and feel satisfied with much less food than before. In fact, they are usually disappointed that they cannot manage their first normal meal, which they have been planning for weeks.

Over the years there have been many hcg users that have developed other types of correction days. Listed here are several others you can try if a steak day won't work for you:

Steak Day and Alternative Correction Days:

  1. Steak Day- Skip breakfast and lunch, then eat a steak (between 12-24 ozs) and either a tomato or an apple for dinner.

  1. Egg Day- Between 8-12 eggs. Focus on the eggs and add only enough fat to make the eggs tolerable.

  1. Chicken Day- You can either do this like a steak day, skipping breakfast and lunch or eat the chicken all day long. Concentrate on the dark meat, but eat the white if still hungry. Some people will eat chicken thighs all day instead of a whole chicken. Try rolling them in olive oil and parmesan cheese and baking them.

  1. Nut day- High fat nuts (raw) eaten all day. Macadamias and pecans are high fat nuts.

  1. High fat day- Example: salmon eaten all day with little added oil to cook.

  1. Protein shake day- Make sure it is a good brand with no added sugar and drink 4-5 shakes along with some added heavy cream and berries (just enough to make it taste good). Use 1/4-1/3 cup whipping cream and ½ cup berries in each shake.

  1. Greek Yogurt day – Full fat greek yogurt (*must* be full fat), add a couple oz of berries per serving. 4 servings of 8 oz each.
Continue to monitor you weight often. If you go above +2 you must correct right away. It is fine at this point to start another round or loose weight in any way you see fit. BUT if you want to maintain for life you will correct any time you go over the +2.

Friday, May 4, 2012

For as a man thinketh, so is he..

Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinks within himself, so is he....." NASB.

I've been challenged lately to change how I view food and weigh out those thoughts according to the scriptures. The Made to Crave DVD's have been such a blessing to me. I though am on a tight budget as I'm sure many of you are, which means I cannot rush out and buy every GREAT resource I find. I was blessed to find on their website a 21 days challenge:

This is a free service offered by MtC which I'm sure you would receive a blessing from.

If you want a more in-depth free bible study to do that will help to re-shape your food thoughts  would recommend that you visit:

I did this 60 day study years ago and want to re-visit it when I'm dong with the MtC study.

I hope you have a blessed day that is victorious not only in the choices you make regarding food, but in your daily walk with Christ.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

High Protein Granola Bars

I make these bars for my children to take to school in their lunches. There are many variations you can try.. my favorite is with chocolate chips and raisins but would you believe that NONE of my children like raisins. So sad!

High Protein Granola Bars

6 cups thick or old fashioned oats
3 cups milk ( or 2 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup kefir)
1/2 - 1 cup honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup whey vanilla protein powder (plain may be used too)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1. The night before soak the oats in the milk/kefir mixture. If you do not have kefir, use a total of 3 cups of milk and add 2 tbsp of yogurt to the milk.

2. The next day, combine all the ingredients. If you want to withhold the chocolate chips and use them as an "icing". My children like them better with a thin layer of chocolate on top rather than chocolate chips inside.

3. Spread in a stoneware bar pan or cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until lightly golden and set. If desired sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot bars. When the chip are melted spread over the bars. Allow bars to cool completely before cutting into bars. Store individually wrapped in the refrigerator. They last around 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It has been a while since I posted. I mentioned a while ago that I was doing something off protocol. What I did was a short 21 day VLCD/hcg round. The reason it was considered off protocol was that I only did 3 weeks of phase 3 and 1 1/2 weeks of phase 4 before I chose to cycle back into phase 2. I chose to continue my exercise routine throughout this short round and did struggle to each strict protocol foods, but I went from 165 back down to 154. Not earth shattering losses, however, my body shape is more like it was when I hit 146 my last round. I believe that is because I chose to maintain my exercise routine.

Now, the really cool thing is, that since entering phase 3 my weight has stayed within .6 of my LDW. This is the first time my weight has been so stable since round 1. I really struggled with portion control and binging after round 2 & 3. In my mind I felt so extremely deprived that I just attacked food... which is REALLY bad!

I had a couple different friends mention the bible study book called: Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. I was able to find it at my library along with the DVD. It has been a huge blessing to me. It is helping me to view food and my food struggles from a biblical perspective. I've found it both convicting and encouraging. Lately I've been watching 2 segments of the DVD while doing my 45 minutes of walk aerobics. The children get really confused because the lady on the TV is not doing the exercises that mommy is! LOL! I'd highly recommend this book/bible study to any of you that find you are an emotional or stress eater and have a desire to get the stronghold of food under control in your life.

Currently hubby and I are using the JUDDD way of eating for our maintenance diet. We are not holding to the strict 500 calorie down day because we are not looking to lose more weight. Hubby is at his ideal weight but wants a WOE (way of eating) that will allow him to maintain with ease. I want to stabilize here for a while, then I plan to tweak my down day amounts lower so that I can eventually lose a little more weight, if my body allows. I believe that the benefits of keeping the SIRT1 Gene active will help us to maintain our weight loss along with giving us more added health benefits.

I'm still doing weights/lifting with the total gym for 30-40 minutes 3 days a week followed by 3-4 miles of walk aerobics and on the off days I do 3-5 miles of walk aerobics. Sunday is my day of rest.  My body is toning up and I'm starting to enjoy the workout routine. I've never really liked exercise, however, this time I really would like to see if the exercise helps to tone up all the jiggle spots left behind from all the fat loss. Plus, I'm hoping it will be part of a health routine that will support not only my weight loss but my struggles with high blood pressure and my endocrine system.

I saw both my doctors last week: my cardiologist Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, and my Naturalpathic Doctor, Dr. Michelle Nickels. Both were thrilled with the 80 pounds I've lost over the past year. Dr. Davis was particularly surprised to see that my cholesterol levels were perfect. He said, as Dr. Simeons states too, that cholesterol usually is high during weight loss, and that the HDL & LDL are usually way off. My labs revealed that my body is adjusting well to the weight loss and my numbers are absolutely perfect. I had 2 appointments with Dr. Nickels where my blood pressure was 128/82 the first visit and 120/76 the second visit. Then when I saw Dr. Davis it was 140/100. He is still not concerned with my bp readings and is convinced that with the weight loss my body will adjust to that lower number more consistently. My t3 & reverse t3 are perfect now along with my TSH. All of these were high back in August. I'm still having low progesterone symptoms so we are treating that and will re-test in about 3 months to see what my levels are then. I'm very blessed to have a team of physicians that have a desire for full body healing through the use of whole foods and supplements. Neither of them have pushed me to use drugs, though I am on a bio-available progesterone for the time being.

So, that is my LONG update! I hope those of you who are in the midst of your weight loss journey will continue forward. Do not become discouraged by the bumps along the way, learn from each victory and each challenge so that in the end you will reach your desired levels of health and wellness.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I think I posted a while back that I began exercising. Actually, I started exercising on day 1 of phase 3 of round 3. Since then, March 1st, I've only had 1 week where I have exercised less than 5 days. My usual routine is 20-30 minutes of total gym lifting with 1 mile of aerobic walking on Tues, Thurs., Sat, and 2 aerobic miles on Mon, Wed, Fri. This week I'm changing it up a bit and doing my weight routine on Mon., Wed, Fri increasing the intensity and doing 2 aerobic miles. On Tues., Thurs., and Sat I'm doing 3 aerobic miles. I'm feeling really great doing this work out and I'm noticing a lot of lean muscle forming. My upper arms are no longer flabby, they are toned nicely. My tummy and thighs are tightening up too. I'm losing fat and building muscle... I'll write more about how I'm losing fat on tomorrows post.

If you've considered adding exercise and want a workout routine that is doable I'd really encourage you to look into Leslie Sansone's Walk Aerobic DVD's. I have the Power Mile and the Weight Loss Walk. When I started I did the Power Mile one time through with weights. Within a week I increased to doing the PM two times through. I am now doing 1 mile, out of the 4, on the Weight Loss Walk on my weight lifting days along with a Power Mile and on my non lifting days I'm doing 2 miles from the Weight Loss Walk and 1 Power Mile. I love the movements on these videos, I find they challenge my body more than just walking 2-3 miles outside. The Weight Loss Walk is an older recording.. very 80's ish.. but has great moves that build leg muscles and help to tone legs, hips, & waist. You can start with 1 mile and work your way up to 4 miles, each mile gets more challenging. I think she has other work out DVD's that have 1-4 mile workouts. These are the best ones so that you can add more as you are able. However, I really like the Power mile and find that doing it over and over is a great work out. When I do it more than once I do the warm up and the mile until she reaches the cool down, which I skip until the last time I go through it.

Is there anyone else out there who is moving their body more now that they've reduced the fat through hcg? Please leave a comment and tell us what you are doing! I do moderate all comments, so it might take a day for your comment to show up.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I'm so excited to have GREAT energy and the physical ability to be busy spring cleaning this year!! The past two days have been spent outside doing various things in the gardens, barn, and yard. Yesterday we were so busy that by 5 I was spent... but it felt really good to be able to do it all!

We try to spend the nice days outside in the gardens or outbuildings doing much needed chores. On rainy days we focus our energy on school and inside cleaning projects. That is usually how we spend our spring. It does mean that teen daughter has to finish her school work during the summer months but it all gets done.

We've been doing some family "spring cleaning" too. Working on attitudes and trying to make sure our hearts and willing to be cleaned up, cleaned out, and filled with what God wants in them! It seems our family is going through a lot right now... I expect it is only the beginning!! I know that the discipleship of our children will only increase as they grow into adulthood... what a HUGE responsibility.

Today while Teen Daughter & I were cleaning the barn she commented, "Daddy will think we were robbed because it is so clean up here!" Then she said, "Ya know mom... it looks a lot bigger up here now. I had the chance to tell her that when we allow a little bit of clutter every seems to add to the clutter thus making a small mess a big one, then it becomes overwhelming. That is why we have to clean up the clutter, in our homes and in our hearts so we are free, to move, go, do and be!

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life with teens... life with children.... life

God is so patient with us, yet so often our patience is practically non existent with the little ones He has put in our care. This has been my greatest challenge these days. I've been deeply convicted about how I interact with my children in both the good times and the bad. My personal agenda for each day so often is in conflict with the time needed to shape, mentor, and disciple these little lives. As I have been daily and sometimes... hourly asking God to help me to be loving, patient and have a teachers heart with my children I would ask that you pray for me too.

Life is so much more than weight, food, chores, and school. Where is your heart today? In tune with your children, or being frustrated because they are not staying out of the way? I hope you will consider the challenge that I am giving myself, and ask yourself: Am I loving my children the way I ought to? Am I shaping them, training them, and correcting them in love?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Update -- Phase 4

Sorry it has been FOREVER since I've blogged. I've been busy getting into a better routine at home, along with continuing with my exercise, and prepping for all the work to be done here on the farm in the spring.

My weight has been perfectly stable since our trip.  I dropped 4 pounds doing CD's upon our return. Since then, I've stayed between 158-160 with no effort at all and am able to eat within reason almost anything I want. This weight stabilization point is where I stabilized my last round which is no great surprise because I totally ruined my last round by cheating the last 20 days of the round. Cheating never pays!! At least I AM stable, and now I can work on getting the weight back down into the 140's which is where I really want to be.  I continue to do walk aerobics for 2 miles 5-6 days a week and I'm now up to almost 30 minute of weight training 3 days a week. I'm sure some of the weight I've gained is muscle but not all of it. I'm starting JUDDDing. To learn more about that WOE (Way Of Eating) do a google search for Dr. Johnson Up Day Down Day diet. I'm excited about what I've learned about how JUDDD, Fast 5, and Intermittent Fasting can activate the SIRT1 Gene and the many health difficulties that can be resolved as a result of this gene being active. We'll see how things go!

For now that is about all that is new around here. I hope to be back down to my LDW by May so I can shop for a dress for my husband's nieces wedding we will be attending Mid-May.

Monday, March 12, 2012


My body is still adjusting to the exercise I'm doing. Yesterday was my day of rest. Mon - Saturday I'm working out to Leslie Sansone's Power Mile and Walk Away the Weight. Currently I'm doing 2 miles a day with the intent of increasing to about 4 miles a day over time. Last week our cheap version of the Total Gym arrived. For now I'll be doing the TG workout 3 times a week. Eventually when I have learned all the moves I will divide up my work out so that I work the upper body and arms one day then the legs and lower body the next in order to rest the muscle groups appropriately. My weight has continued to climb due to muscle soreness and fatigue. So I will be doing 3 correction days in a row Monday through Wednesday in hopes of getting my weight back down before we leave for our birthday/anniversary trip. I feel great. My energy level is fabulous in spite of the tenderness in my muscles.

It ought to be easy for me to stick to the CD's this week because life will be VERY busy. Hubbies job will be changing from an office job where he is also on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week to a work from home and travel to various colleges job. They already have him doing some traveling while he still manages the help desk 24/7. This week he is traveling. We will be emptying out our storage room into the storage garage which is a few miles down the road. My big project these next 3 days is to get the storage room completely empty so we can paint it and turn it into an office for him. While I'm emptying the storage room I'm going to make sure that the summer clothes tubs are organized and easily accessible at the storage garage, as well as do any other organizing that needs to be done.

The kids and I have to adjust to managing the farm, school, and a new routine while Phil is gone. My big goal this week is to have harmony in the home. I want to try to keep all my ducks in a row so that I am not stressed when the kids are here. This means I'm working on developing better routines for everything from preparing meals to packing lunches and keeping up with the laundry. I want to be able to manage the home in such a way that it will promote a sweet spirit in me so that I can display Christ likeness to the kids. I have a tendency to get stressed and I do not want to take that stress out on the children. So we would covet your prayers while we start to get used to having hubby travel more. I will need to juggle not only the farm and household responsibilities but the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the children while he is away.  So forgive me if the blog is neglected from time to time.

I hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Homemade "Coconut Manna/Cream" -- Phase 3

If you happen to find that you LOVE coconut manna...... or coconut cream, like I do, but want to cut corners on expense you can make your own coconut manna/cream very easily. You will need a powerful blender like a Vitamix or a Food Processor. Yesterday I made 2 1/2 pounds of shredded coconut into coconut manna and it was lovely creamy and sweet. MUCH sweeter than the Nutiva brand that I have in the cupboard. And it cost me less than $4 for each 15 ounce container full. I mixed 2 cups of Tropical Traditions coconut oil with my coconut cream so I actually FILLED to the brim 3 of those containers and if you've bought them you KNOW they do not come full to the top. Mine were filled to the top, plus I filled a 1/2 pint jar, plus I ate about 1/4 cup tasting it along the way..MMMM! So I think my cost if I had not added the coconut oil would be less than $4 for a 15 ounce container. If you purchase it by the 15 ounce container it runs $7-$12 depending on where you buy it. You can get a 5 pound bag from the Nutiva website for about $6 per pound. So.. if you like it, buy shredded organic coconut when you find it on sale.. it will stay fresh in a sealed container for a long time, you could even freeze it if you want to extend the shelf life even longer but I really do not think it is necessary.

Homemade Coconut Cream
1 pound shredded organic unsweetened coconut
1 cup Virgin Coconut Oil, warmed (optional)

1. Put your shredded coconut into your food processor and turn it on high. It will turn the coconut into a powder before it turns it into butter/cream.
2. If you want the added benefit of more coconut oil in your coconut cream, warm 1 cup of virgin coconut oil at a very low temperature so you do not kill any of the good stuff. I use hot tap water and put my jar in the water to warm the oil. You can add this oil to the food processor AFTER the coconut is fully creamed. PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT add the oil before the coconut is butter or it will stay kinda gritty and flaky and will lack the beautiful smooth mouth feel.
3. Pour your coconut cream into clean pint jars and store until use or make coconut cream candy.

Coconut Cream Candy

1 cup coconut cream
2 tbsp cocoa powder
stevia or the sweetener you prefer to taste
1/2 cup coconut oil melted (if you did NOT already add CO to your cream.. if you did you do NOT need to add more)
shredded coconut (optional)
chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
chopped pecans (optional)
 mini muffin wrappers.

1. In a pan or bowl  combine the coconut cream, cocoa powder and sweetener.
2. On a cookie sheet, place your muffin wrappers in rows. Put in the muffin wrappers any "extras" you like. I usually put a little coconut in one row, then macadamia nuts in a other, and chopped pecans in another, and I like to leave some plain too. You only need a little bit in each wrapper, do not fill it to the brim, just a little sprinkle along the bottom is all that is needed.
3. Pour 1 Tablespoon of the chocolate cream mixture into the muffin papers.
4. Cool in the fridge or freezer.
5. Stack wrappers and place in a container. Keep them in a cool room of your house OR the refrigerator. If it is warm where you live refrigeration will be needed so the candies do not melt.

There is also a Lemon Truffle recipe somewhere on youtube or  a blog out there in cyberspace. It uses lemon juice, the zest of one lemon, sweetener and coconut cream. I have not tried it yet... but will eventually and will post the combination of ingredients and amounts that I like.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Asparagus Egg Casserole -- Phase 3

Asparagus Egg Casserole

1/2 pound pork sausage OR bacon
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil (or use the bacon grease if you chose bacon)
8-10 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cream
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (the type of cheese you use will add more depth to the recipe. Swiss or hard cheddar ad the richest flavors, Colby Jack is also very nice but gives a milder flavor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Cook the pork sausage or bacon until browned/crisp and set aside.Break bacon into bite size pieces, if you chose bacon.
2. Saute the onion and asparagus in butter, oil or bacon grease until the onion is translucent and asparagus is crisp tender. Lightly salt & pepper the veggies and meat.
3. Place cooked meat, asparagus, and onion in the bottom of a 9" X 13" pan.  Spread evenly.
4. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream and cream. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the meat and vegetable mixture.
5. Top with grated cheese.
6. Bake for 20-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown and eggs are set. The bake time varies depending on how hot the meat & veggies are when you top them with the eggs. If they are quite hot still the eggs cook up faster.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kefir Green Smoothie -- Phase 3

I'm still loving my green smoothies. This is how I make them now that I am in phase 3. I can hardly wait until my garden is producing the spinach, kale, chard, and beet greens so I can pick them fresh and use them in my smoothies daily.

Kefir Green Smoothie

1 - 1 1/2 cups whole milk kefir
5 ounces of greens (spinach, kale, chard, beet greens a single green or any combination you feel like)
1 cup for frozen berries (strawberry or blueberry are my two favorites, I usually only use one type of fruit)
1/2 - 1 full serving of protein powder (vanilla or chocolate, it is amazing but the chocolate adds a beautiful richness to the shake)
cinnamon to taste
stevia to taste
1/2 - 1 cup water if needed to get it to the liquid state you enjoy. I like mine thick so I don't add much water if I use 1 1/2 cups of kefir
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp FRESHLY ground flax meal (use a coffee grinder to grind it fresh)

Put all ingredients (except the coconut oil) into a good blender and blend until smooth. While the blender is on slowly pour in your 1-2 tbsp of melted coconut oil.

This smoothie will fill you up... like FULL and is very nutrient dense!

OPTIONAL additions:
1.  If you don't want to use the protein powder, or if you want to have even more protein in your smoothie, you can add 1-2 farm fresh eggs to the smoothie.
2. If you have a vitamin B deficiency you can also add Nutritional Yeast to this smoothie.
3. If you have a good quality super green or super red powder mix, add it to your smoothie for another nutrient boost. I personally LOVE "Erin's Super Green Drink Mix" it is pricy but is fabulous in this smoothie, I use a heaping tablespoon of this mix in every smoothie.
4. This is a great smoothie to add kelp to. You can buy powdered kelp in bulk, start by adding 1 tsp a day and work your way up to 1 tbsp.
5. Any spices or herbs that you enjoy can be added to enhance the flavor or just to change it up daily. I enjoy cinnamon, some like fresh or dried ginger, nutmeg, even cayenne can be added if you like it hot. If you have heart problems cayenne and fresh minced garlic are wonderful additions... if you can take the heat!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nourishing Baked Oatmeal -- Phase 4

Many people find that even when they enter phase 4 of maintenance that they still have to watch the amount of grains, sugar and starch they consume. If you are the type that can handle some this is well worth the eating! Even if you choose this is too much for you, your family will love it!

Nourishing Baked Oatmeal

The night before:
6 cups Thick Rolled Oats (old fashioned oats)
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp Kefir, yogurt, whey, or lemon juice
1 cup warm water

Place all these ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine, cover and leave at room temperature over night.

In the morning add:
4 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup Coconut Oil melted
1 cup Honey or real maple syrup (or you can use 1/2 c and some stevia if you want to reduce the sugar)

1. Stir well to combine.
2. Pour into a cookie sheet that is at least 11 X 15 in size.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until set and slightly golden.
4. Serve with milk or cream.
5. If there are left overs, press some sugar free or regular chocolate chips into the oatmeal "bars". Return them to an oven that is about 200 degrees for about 5-10 minutes to allow the chocolate to soften. Spread the chocolate with a spatula. You may also sprinkle over the melted chocolate  chopped nuts. Allow bars to cool and cut them into "granola bars. 


1. If you enjoy raisins or dried cranberries add 1/2 - 1 cup  to the soaking mixture and increase your water by 1/2 cup. The raisins/cranberries will plump up with the oats over night. Dried blueberries are lovely too.
2. You may add 1 cup of chopped nuts: walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, etc to your mixture in the morning right before baking.
3. To increase the protein content I have even added 1/2 cup of vanilla protein powder to the mixture in the morning when adding all the other ingredients. It adds a lovely richness and then turns my "granola bars" into a healthy protein bar that my family gobbles up!
4. If you do NOT cook for a crew this recipe can easily be cut in 1/2 and baked in a 9" X 13" pan, or reduce it by a third and bake it in a 8" X 8" or 9" X 9" pan.