Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Diagnosis

The test results are all in, and a diagnosis has been made. I’m afraid it’s not good news. Apparently, I have had this for many years and it’s gone unchecked, ignored, and brushed off as other issues. In fact, it appears that many of my health issues—eczema, depression, weight gain, digestive issues—are actually caused by this very same problem. It can lead to other problems too—heart attack, stroke, auto-immune disorders, memory loss, and others.

It is also very difficult to cure. There is no pill to take that will heal it. Treating this disease will take major changes physically, emotionally, and mentally.

I suffer from overwhelming stress. Telling you that is, sadly, very difficult. That’s because I don’t like being a burden to anyone, I don’t want anyone to know I’m not as tough as they think, and I am a perfectionist. I take on too much, I am a workaholic, and I enjoy taking care of other people to the neglect of taking care of myself. It’s not just the amount of stress I take on, I also do not respond well to stress. I withdraw, I obsess, and/or I get angry. Pretty much, if there is a bad way to respond—that’s what I do.

I’ve been told by several people that I am intimidating. Not that I’m threatening or mean, but I do seem strong and confident all the time. A woman spoke to me today, and she is one of the few people in my life who was unabashedly forward with me—not intimidated in the slightest. This was remarkable to me. I want to share with you some of the things she said to me.

If you’re perfect, why are you here?

This is going to stick in my head for a long time. She said, “If you’re perfect, than why are you here? You might as well be in heaven.” Wow. I know perfectionism isn’t right or God’s desire for me. I know in my heart that I was made perfect through Christ’s blood—HECK, I even told a friend that recently! I’ve got the words, read the scripture, and KNOW what’s good and right. Try telling my head to follow along though. (If you can’t tell, or didn’t know—I tend to be a bit stubborn & hard-headed.) Her point was to make me understand that I need to accept my own imperfection.

Leaders need to be real.

This woman also told me that people are more apt to follow when they know their leader is real. Let them see you cry from time to time, she said. It makes them feel they can relate to you, and they are more willing to follow someone that is real. This was a novel concept to me. This has never been the picture of leadership I’ve held in my mind. I don’t have to have it all together all the time, and people appreciate that.

Those are choices YOU made.

I’m such a hypocrite. I say this all the time to women I counsel. I often feel as if I don’t have a choice. My mind easily twists things to make me believe that I must or have to do this or that. I mean, if I don’t, who will? Even my GI doc said, those things will get done. To which I responded, Yes because I will get them all done. Yikes. I struggle with saying no. I am getting better, even my husband told me that today, but I still choose daily to take on as much as possible. I carry the load for all because it’s my nature to take care of everyone. Then when it’s overwhelming, I suffer physical pain.

I also choose to RESPOND the way that I do. This will be the most difficult thing to change. Even though I’m getting better at saying no, I’m horrible at responding well to stress. I typically shove it down or burst out—depending on the situation.

So, here’s where I show vulnerability *gulp* and ask for help. How do you choose to respond to stress? Let’s make a good, long list of ideas for me to try. Do you count to ten when the boss is screaming? Do you have a special prayer? Sip some tea? When the bills need paying, and the kids are fighting—what do you do? (Please, let’s also be realistic. I’m a working mom of two—though I’d love a good soak in the tub, it’s not going to happen on a daily or evenly weekly basis. Especially since our bathroom is still being repaired.) Let’s make it an experiment. I’ll give each idea a try every week, and then report back. While you come up with some ideas, I’m going to go do something that relaxes and stresses me at the same time—knit.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Naive Birth

Just this week I found myself conversing with a woman who is pregnant with her second child. She is considering having a doula, and had questions for me. Naturally, I asked her about her first birth. She told me she had her daughter naturally, but then proceeded to tell me about how she was induced, had an epidural, and a vacuum delivery.

It breaks my heart to hear this mother perfectly innocent and naive about birth--who doesn't understand the difference between natural and vaginal birth. Why is it that we spend so much time deciding what color to paint the nursery, but seem to put seconds into understanding birth? Why is that okay with so many? Birth education is essential to our country's health and well-being. Understanding terms like natural and vaginal are only the beginning.

It's a delicate conversation to have with this mother. The last thing we as doulas want to do is alienate or make her feel unintelligent. I know I make mistakes as a mother daily, if not hourly, and the last thing I need is guilt or discouragement. Rather, I put my hand on her arm, and with a warm smile I invited her to drop-in on one of my childbirth classes. I ask her "Wouldn't it be great to not have all those wires going in your body?" Or, to go further, "How did you feel when you were induced?" Allowing her to come to understanding, and to her own decisions is vitally important. It's the first step in empowering her in the birth.

When we as mothers and fathers choose to educate ourselves on birth, we're becoming advocates for our children and ourselves. As doulas, it's our duty to ENCOURAGE parents to educate themselves--not just rely on the doula or medical professional.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ta-Da! List

I am a list-maker. I always have been. My parents recently stopped by with lists I made as a child. My husband found them humorous. Obviously, I haven’t changed much. Even when I was young my lists could stress me out. If I didn’t accomplish what I wrote, or if life didn’t go according to plan—I would be sincerely disappointed.

This year, I’ve started something new. Rather than making a daily to-do list, I make a Ta-Da! List. What's a Ta-Da! List, you ask? Well, it's the reverse of my to do's. It's everything I've accomplished today. I write them as I go about my day. I keep a magnetic pad on the fridge with a bright sharpie nearby. As I walk about the house working on projects, I add on another thing I’ve done. Both the small stuff, like helping my son find a missing toy (a daily adventure), and major jobs like scrubbing the toilets are celebrated as my ta-da’s.

Today’s Ta-Da! List:

Got the 2 year old dressed

Clipped the 2 year old’s finger nails

Went to work for 2 ½ hours

Doctor’s appointment

Lunch with husband

Read to & put both kids down for naps

Answered all pending e-mails

Worked on blog

…And the day isn’t over yet!

Do you have those extremely exhausting days that you feel that you never stopped working, and yet nothing seems to be done? Me too. My to-do list is never-ending and ever growing. It’s incredibly disheartening. My Ta-Da! List only lasts a day, but each day is full of ta-da’s. Which, gives me perspective, understanding, and grace when I can’t seem to understand why I couldn’t get more done off my to-do list. It’s also energizing! Seeing what I’ve already been able to do, gives me hope for the remainder of the day.

I haven’t abandoned my to-do list. I love crossing things off it too much to abandon it all together. However, my Ta-Da! List provides me affirmation and encouragement. Give it a try.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

As they say, hindsight is 20/20, and that’s what this story is all about. Basically, it’s what I would teach myself—if I could go back in time. You see, two years ago I made the giant leap of faith to quit my well-paying, well-liked job to be home with my kids. It’s been a roller-coaster of emotions and finances, as well as coming to grips with a new identity.

I hope you’re not like me. I hope that you’ve stumbled across this blog well before making a similar leap. I hope that this will prepare you for the journey, but if you have already jumped head first into stay-at-home(ish) motherhood—there’s something here for you too.

#1 Start Living NOW Like You Will Then

If you’re a two-income household aiming to become a one-income household this is key. Start right now. If you don’t have a budget, make one now. However, use only one income. Write your budget, make your plans, figure out how to live NOW on what you will make then. Take what you currently make, and toss it into a savings account. You’re going to have to get tough and be creative. It’s going to take a lot of extra time while you get organized. Clip coupons, start meal planning, and find ways to tighten the spending now.

A wise friend once said to me that the US government should put a SAHM in charge of balancing the national budget. They’re the best at managing money—only spending what they have and no more.

#2 Find What Works For You

Understand quickly that the way your friends do things—manage their budget, raise their children, run their household—isn’t necessarily they way YOU should do your things. You are not them. Their kids are not your kids.

When I first came home I had no idea what to do. My identity for so long had been a working gal. Even after my first was born, I was still a head-strong working mom—and proud of it! Upon leaving my full-time corporate job I pumped friends for information on how to do this SAHM thing. I am a middle-child, perfectionist, trying-to-please everyone, A-type personality—and darn it, I wanted to get this right. It didn’t take long before I was feeling like a failure trying to live up to standards that didn’t exist, except for in my head.

It’s taken a lot of trial and error, but our family is finding ways of doing everything—schooling, budgeting, cleaning, working—that works for US. So, give yourself a bit of slack, as well as time for learning and growth. Don’t forget that there is an adjustment period too. You and your family will need a bit of time to adjust to mom being home.

#3 This Is A Job

Being home/the primary care-giver is more difficult than a typical full-time job. Your work hours are long. You are not financially compensated. Your clients demand much from you. Your outfits aren’t always as cute, and usually end up covered in either food or other stickiness. Getting out of bed will be just as difficult as before.

How you approach your day is key. You are now the COO of your household. You manage all household and family operations. Get up, showered, and dressed—preparing for a day of work just as before (except you’ll most likely be wearing yoga pants rather than a suit). Use your time just before bed to plan out your day. There are lots of great mom blogs out there that have easy, printable to-do lists and organization forms. Find what works for you. The key here is to take your SAHM job just as seriously as when you were working. If you’re a WAHM you’ve got double-duties. You’re wearing two hats, and will need to devise a way to have balance.

It is a hard job, but it's the best job you will ever have. Two years later, many trials later, I am so thankful we made this leap. Hopefully, with this information you'll be able to avoid many of the mistakes I made, making your leap a leap of joy.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stay-cation 2010

This is why I love living in Colorado: Staying home on vacation can be just as fulfilling as going away. There is so much to do and see, so close to home. I'm not even talking about all the national parks and forests, museums and so on available to us. I mean seriously close-to-home. Our home.

We are rarely together at home as a family, and even when we are--we're usually exhausted. Before vacation even started my husband announced that this week needed to be more about what we WANTED to do, rather than what we NEEDED to do. I had to agree. I have a pile of projects, books, and things I never have time to do, because work, laundry, and all the kids' needs come first.

We made a list on our bathroom mirror. (Isn't that where you keep all your important notes? It works really well, you should try it.) It included wants, needs, maybes, and musts. Something I added as priority: get into a routine. What?!? That doesn't sound like a vacation. In previous vacation experiences it always stinks to get back to the daily grind. People say, "I need a vacation to recover from my vacation." I didn't want that. Come Monday morning I want to feel rested, accomplished, refreshed and ready to tackle to the world again.

We've already been on two long bike rides, played in the garden, cooked together (ate all our meals together, at the table!!!!), had a breakfast date, and enjoyed some movies at home. Tonight we're taking the kids to the movie theatre for the first time (a steal of a deal, since I found free movie passes in my coupon box).

Tomorrow starts our get-back-into-a-routine plan. Early rise, early bed time. Our day will be more organized and planned, but we always maintain a flexible schedule. Still, we have lots of fun planned: rock climbing, library, and probably more biking, gardening, and sewing.

While staying at home doesn't necessarily have the thrill of visiting a new place or getting away from it all--bringing balance back to our home definitely has its advantages.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nursing Cover--FREE! has a promotion going where you can get one free nursing cover (regular price $32). The code is "babiesonline". All you pay is the S&H!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

LOVE this.

It's great to be passionate, but let's not pull our hate into that passion.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom::Advice for Dads

When you come home from a long weary day, here is a bit of advice:
Scan the scene, attempt to find one thing your wife did today. Maybe the toys are all picked up, laundry is folded, dinner is ready, or the kitchen was swept. It doesn't matter how big or small. Thank your wife for this accomplishment--genuinely.

If you don't immediately see something, DO THIS: Thank your wife for not killing your children today.

A little affirmation and appreciation goes a long way.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Busy Mom's Bible

Recently I discovered She led me to a giveaway from Zondervan--a free copy of the Busy Mom's Bible.
Growing up in a Christian home--raising my family in a Christian home--we are not lacking in Bibles. We have several sizes, colors, and translations.
So, why would I need another Bible?

I'm stale. I've read through my Bible cover to cover more than a few times. I try to read daily, but it's not always reality. I'll be honest--it's not always a time issue--it just doesn't always seem relevant to where I'm at. Pathetic, I know.

I was so incredibly excited when the box arrived yesterday. I was a kid at Christmas--seriously overwhelmed. I ripped open the box(es), and breathed in the two-tone pink Bible--all for me! It's like I had never read this book before. Like a new release of the much anticipated installment of a certain young wizard's year at wizard school.

It was late when the kids got to bed last night, and I wanted to be alert for my first read. So, today at nap time was my first opportunity. I opened it up to Genesis 1 and started reading with enthusiasm. I got through one chapter, and sighed. Yep, it was pretty much the same as it always has been. Surely, there was more to this Bible. Well, there is.
Zondervan inserted 52 "Thought Starters" within the pages of the Busy Mom's Bible. They're designed to take only minutes, but to draw you deeper into God's Word. It gives you a word for the day and thoughts to mull over. You have the option of going deeper into study & prayer, but even those are quick enough to fit into a busy schedule. The "Reflect & Pray" takes maybe 5 minutes, and I was surprised how quickly I engaged into the thought.

Today's thought was to consider something you been involved in creating. It asked "How do you feel about it? So, what do you think God feels about you? What difference does this make in the way you might respond to him?"
I immediately thought of the sweater I recently knitted for my daughter. It took several months--nearly a year--and I experienced several emotions when it was complete. Relief. Satisfaction. Pride. Elation (when it fit & she liked it). I wanted to show it off.
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day." Genesis 1:31

My goal is to do at least one Thought Starter per week, and make every attempt to read through my Bible again this year with a fresh perspective. Maybe this busy mom will even find time to blog about the journey.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Lesson in Frugality: Day 7

Tonight is pizza.
Leftover italian sausage, mozzarella from WIC check, onions from pantry, homemade sun dried tomatoes from this past summer, on-hand seasonings, and homemade dough (ingredients on-hand).

We've decided to see how long we can keep going on this. While the husband & kids are making pizza I'm attempting to plan a cost-free or low-cost menu for next week.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Lesson in Frugality: Day 6

I'm sick.
I have strep for the 3rd time this winter.
It is so very frustrating.

My sweet, and so very awesome husband made my favorite "get better" food--Ham & Bean soup. We had a ham hock in the freezer, and beans in the pantry. I had made chicken stock from our chicken bones last night. We have leftover cornbread, but I might bake some more. Total cost $0, nada, nothing, zilch. Everything was on-hand.

My kids love beans. E especially loves black beans. I love when she eats them, b/c she gets this black goo on her face that dries & makes her look like she has a 5 o'clock shadow. Like a little bean eating hobo.

Oh my, that was random. Yes, I'm very sick.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Lesson in Frugality: Day 5

Tonight we had a roasted chicken, rice, corn and green beans. So far, we haven't spent more than $32 this week on groceries. I have plenty of chicken left for salads, sandwiches, and maybe a pot pie.
Two more days left. I'm quite impressed with our experiment.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Lesson in Frugality: Day 4

Tonight's meal:
Hawaiian burgers on hot dog buns (b/c that's what we have)**
Rosemary oven-fried potatoes sprinkled with parmesan**
Green beans

I still have a whole chicken and leftover italian sausage. Plus, beans, beans, and more beans. I'm wondering how long we could continue doing this experiment.

**Hamburger from the clearance bin ($2.95) and bag of potatoes were purchased. Everything else was on-hand.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Lesson in Frugality: Days 1-3

On Sunday morning we woke up to my precious daughter's cries.
"I so cold, mommy."
Indeed. It was 51 degrees in the house.
The ignitor on the furnace had broke, and we called a repair man. Over $200 later we were thankful for the extra money we had put in savings over the last month. Though, disappointed that it wouldn't be going towards getting us ahead--still thankful we weren't going backwards.
However, it still meant that our budget would be extra tight, and we were in dire need of groceries.

If you've kept up with the blog, you know that our family has determined to reach some goals in 2010. Finding a new way to manage our money is one of the goals. So, we decided to get creative with the menu this week.

I sent my husband and son on a "hunt." Their task was to search the pantry, freezer and refrigerator, and write down all possible meal-making items. They made a great list. I had even forgotten about the butternut squash dumplings.

**The challenge this week would be to stick to 1/3 of our normal grocery bill--about $50, and still make nutritious, delicious meals.

Sunday, Day 1: Leftovers. We ate everything we could find. The kids had beans, noodles, rice, and peas. My husband and I had leftover chili.

Monday, Day 2: Dinner with friends. Our contribution to the meal: A salad made of romaine, napa cabbage, carrots, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and apples. All found in the house.

Tuesday, Day 3: Spaghetti with italian sausage and caesar salad. This was a menu item from last week. My folks surprised us with a visit & dinner out, which bumped this menu to today.

**So far we've spent just over $30 on staple items like bread. We also took advantage of our WIC checks to purchase milk, cheese, peanut butter, eggs, and a few other items.

We were also blessed by some good samaritans. On Monday morning I found cash in an envelope on our windshield. It's enough to ensure that we have a complete and balanced menu this week. God is good.

Four more days to go. I have no idea what we'll eat tomorrow. I'm thinking it's going to involve potatoes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Opinions On Raising Kids::Food

From my CF posts, you know that food is a big deal at our house. O requires lots of calories, but I want to make sure that every calorie counts for his overall health--not just what affects his CF. E doesn't need as many calories, and she's more prone to eat little meals all day, rather than O's 3 huge meals plus a snack each day. Then there is my husband who disappears when he turns sideways no matter how much he eats, and me who will balloon up no matter what I eat (or don't eat, for that matter). Sounds complicated, especially when you add in each person's tastes in food, but it's not. My husband and I are foodies, and that has made this more of a fun experiment than chore. I don't want to kid you though, there are some days that I actually want to just go to a fast food joint. Hopefully, though, this post will help you avoid those days.

From other posts you know I'm a HUGE advocate for breastfeeding. What you might have also picked up on is that I'm pretty adamant that kids DO NOT have cow's milk until AFTER they're 2 years of age. (If you want details on why, send me a message--or, pick up a copy of The Maker's Diet--it's a great read.) Back to breastfeeding. It's truly the best way to get your kid eating right from the get go. Yes, I know there are many circumstances and situations that make breastfeeding difficult or impossible. However, if you CHOOSE not to breastfeed--you are really limiting your child's health and well being. It's researched & documented. Just google it.

Essential to breastfeeding is what YOU put in your mouth. The same holds true later, after breastfeeding. Like everything with kids, this is the start to a long time habit of your kids imitating you. Your kids are watching you, even when you eat. Your choices directly impact their choices. I don't like broccoli, or peas, or green beans, or cooked spinach, or pretty much most any vegetable (especially the green ones). Sorry to disappoint you. Do I eat them? Yep, and especially when the kids are watching.

We strive for balance. Protein, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and good fats at every meal. We're not perfect. Yesterday the kids ate cereal for breakfast, followed by eggs and pancakes for lunch, and rice and chicken for dinner. I did manage to get them to eat a few bites of my Chicken Asian Salad (with cabbage, carrots, lettuce, and bell peppers). Those days happen, and it's okay. (My kids are currently eating cereal even though it will ruin their dinner.)

I'm also a very mean mom. My kids must eat what I give them. Even if it means they sit at the table for hours. I'll work with them to find a way to choke down those veggies, but it's going to happen. This has been consistent since the beginning. I think they believe at sometime we'll cave. However, when we give them something new we only require one bite. You have to try it, and if you don't like it--okay. We'll try again some other day. That's key--trying something once doesn't work. Giving them ample opportunity to try different foods helps develop a palate for healthy foods.

One exception that we've made for our kids on trying food: potatoes. My kids do not like mashed potatoes. Or baked, or smothered in cheese, or made into a casserole, or anything except fried and roasted. It's something I'll never understand, and I sincerely hope they change their minds. We rarely have potatoes because of this, which is very sad. I miss potatoes. We've had some success with yukon golds and reds, but Russets are out. I think it's a texture thing.

We love treats and sweets just like everybody. Just like most families it's healthy first, then the sweets. We don't have dessert available every day either. This is something to start from the beginning. We didn't allow sweets until each child reached the age of 2. Yes, even on their 1st birthdays they didn't have cake! (Remember, I'm a mean mom.) O was thrilled with a bowl of oatmeal (though I made him a sugar free muffin), and E loved her sweet potato.

I could keep going on about food, but I'll try to keep it to 10 main points:
  1. Start 'em young.
  2. Be a good example to them.
  3. Don't keep junk food in the house. Make it a special occasion.
  4. Include them in the gardening and the cooking. You'll be shocked how this perks their interest in foods. (Don't give up. O could care less at age 2 about the peas in the garden, but at almost 5 he eats carrots if HE gets to chop them.) When they get older, they'll be part of the menu planning & grocery shopping.
  5. Make good choices when eating out.
  6. Avoid fried and processed at all costs.
  7. When you travel, have them try the local food. (Unless you're in the deep-fried south.) ;)
  8. Be honest. If it's spicy, tell them. If it's sweet, tell them. Talk about what you're eating--where it came from, how it got to their plates, etc. Make food interesting. Tell them about the vitamins and good things in their food, and how it effects their body. (I also like to tell them how hard candy gets stuck in their teeth and causes tooth decay. This back fires when I get caught eating sweets or junk food.)
  9. Create a monthly meal plan, seasonally based. Once you have a couple months down, you can just rotate various meals throughout the weeks in the season. Batch cooking & freezing will save you from last minute take out.
  10. Don't beat yourself up for not being "perfect." No one is perfect. Do your best, and try to have fun with your food. If it's your only focus, you're going to get stressed. I'm betting even the "experts" have ice cream for dinner from time to time. At least that's what I told myself when I had cookies for breakfast this morning.
I think you should check out A friend of mine started this site to help his wife, and it has been a life saver (& money saver) for us. The burden of planning meals, making our grocery list, and searching recipes has been simplified with one easy online tool. The best is that you can share recipes for friends. So, if you sign up--find my name & take advantage of all the recipes that I've already uploaded.

Simple Mom

I am a huge fan of making things simpler. Life is already complicated enough. I've mentioned her site before, but if you haven't check out you are missing out! She has valuable tools and resources that truly do make things simpler.
Plus, she's giving away awesome items in celebration of her launch of Simple Kids, Simple Bites, Simple Homeschool, and Simple Organic.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Alexa's Testimonial

The following is a testimonial from one of our most recent clients. Thanks, Alexa!

"Tamara’s knowledge, experience and compassion are incredible!

It was my dream to have a natural, drug-free childbirth with as few interventions as possible. But since this was my first pregnancy, I felt uncertainty and wonder about what might be achievable. Since my husband shared both my dream and the concerns about what labor and delivery would entail, we enlisted Tamara and the Nurtured Mother team as another source of support.

My husband and I benefitted greatly from the in-depth, personalized childbirth classes with Tamara and her partner, Kristin. Their recommended exercises, relaxation techniques and nutritional suggestions helped my body get a healthy jumpstart on dilation and effacement. Meanwhile Tamara’s partner, Billie, helped me achieve peace and relaxation with prenatal massage.

Then, when it came time for my labor and our daughter’s birth, Tamara was an indispensable asset who helped both me and my husband focus on our strengths as we used all of the resources available to us and within us—mentally, physically and spiritually.

We achieved our goal of a natural, drug-free childbirth with minimal interventions (the routine buff cap [no IV fluids or drugs pushed]), a fetal monitor for my child since meconium was present when my water broke and an episiotomy). Our daughter had very high Apgar scores, immediately bonded with Mom and Dad and took to breastfeeding like a pro. I have no doubt that our success and wellness has been impacted by the care Tamara and the Nurtured Mother doulas provided.

The team at Nurtured Mother has touched our lives. We will be working with Tamara, Kristin and Billie again when it comes time to have another child."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Detox: Day 1

Well, we survived our first day. I really like how this plan eases you into the actual detox. Other plans were cold turkey on all things "toxic," which can really make it difficult to keep going.
I had planned blueberry oatmeal for breakfast, but due to the "prowler" yesterday I never made it to the store for blueberries.
So, whole wheat pancakes and eggs. *gasp* I can hear you Detox Junkies now screaming--Eggs?! Wheat?! Sugar?! Let me again remind you that this plan EASES you into the detox. So, today was no meat, no caffeine, no carbonated beverages, no alcohol, replace white sugar with sugar substitutes. We did have 1/4 cup of sugar in the pancakes, but I'm not going for a gold medal in detox here.
Lunch was delayed due to childbirth classes. When I had a break I gulped down some Naked Green Juice, southwest black bean and corn soup, and an AMAZING salad--Strawberry, Orange, and Fennel Salad--that we found on That was delicious! Dinner was also delayed. We had church tonight, which meant trying to avoid the large table of goodies set out to tempt people into conversing. So, we came a couple minutes late, and left as quickly as possible. We came home to rice, beans, peas, more salad, and a hot cup of tea.
Matt also made a fantastic sweet potato hummus that made me all kinds of happy. It will be the best snack throughout the week. (Recipe is also on
My biggest accomplishment today (food wise): No chocolate. I'm multi-tasking this detox to also focus my cravings inward and into prayer. Sort of like a fast. I'm seeking out God, His wisdom, His comfort, His desires for my life during this time of cleansing. So, around 3 ish, when I always crave chocolate, you'll find me in prayer instead.

  1. When we looked over our grocery list we realized it was going to be expensive. Our limited budget meant we needed to get creative. We cut a lot of the recipes we found online, and decided that we'd make beans, vegetables, and rice into an art form.
  2. One of our other goals for 2010 is still live more sustainably, eating local, in-season & from our own garden. Obviously, being that it's the middle of winter our garden isn't producing, and most vegetables and fruits at the store are being shipped from other places. This was disheartening for both of us, and we almost rescheduled the detox. I knew that if we rescheduled we may not ever really get moving on our goals. So, we did yet another revision of the list to somehow make it work--definitely had to make compromises on both sides (palatable detox recipes and finding foods that are more sustainable). I'm happy though that we're doing this now, not just for momentum's sake, but also to prepare us to eat what we can grow or get locally later this year.
  3. The kids aren't technically detoxing with us, but we want them to try the various new foods we're eating. The hummus was definitely not a hit with them. However, they are thrilled with the "simple" dinner we enjoyed. Eden gobbled up every bite and asked for more. I did include grilled chicken on their plates.
  4. Tiredness. Oy. As if I wasn't tired already. I can tell that I'm going to be zonked this week. By 8:30 p.m. I was falling asleep on the couch.
That's pretty much it for today. Matt complained of terrible heart burn, but a papaya enzyme seemed to clear that up. We've both have lots of gas--thanks to all the extra fiber, but that's to be expected. (TMI?)
Tomorrow includes more foods to eliminate, but we're already finding new recipes. We're also planning a family trip to the natural and organic grocery stores.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010: Project 1

Detox. We're doing it.
I spent the afternoon planning out a week's worth of meals for a detox/cleanse I've adapted from
We've done a detox before, but it included drinking a nasty supplement and 2 months worth of eliminating foods we love.
This is quick, and relatively easy. I'm focusing on the "quick" part. The first 3 days we'll ease into eliminating foods that build up in our system. Days 4-7 we'll be on a mostly liquid diet--consuming a solid, protein-filled lunch each day. If you're interested in the "plan," I'm happy to send you my excel spreadsheet with our meals, what to eliminate, include, or replace.

This detox is part of our family's 2010 "Plan" (I'm working on a cooler title.) With 32 hours in a car over the course of 4 days, Matt and I had the opportunity to discuss the changes and goals we want to make this year, and for the future. We're still establishing strategies and tactics, but we're going to initiate some ideas while we finish the master plan. Doing this detox is part of the health & wellness portion of the plan.

Our 2010 "Plan" includes areas such as: Faith, Finances, Friends, Family, Health & Wellness (ran out of F's), Personal Growth, and Education. There might be more, but that's what I've got so far. I'm sure a spreadsheet will be created soon. has an awesome worksheet that we're using. (She's got a lot of other awesome stuff too, so check her out.)