Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Alex's first haircut

Alex has had those cute little cherub curls forever and we have loved them, but they were starting to really cause some grief for Alexander.....

they would curl into his ears and tickle him and he would dig at his ears and make himself bleed....

they would curl into his eyes and no amount of brushing of his hair seems to keep them at bay for more than a few minutes....

Today we bid a fond farewell to the little curls. I got my scissors out, sat him on my lap, had Daddy hold his arms and I trimmed his hair.

The hair now comes to just above his ears, just above his eyes and straight across his neck. Nothing to it! And he looks so handsome! You thought he looked older before?! Now my 14 month old looks like a 2 year old!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eating well

Since my doctor put me on a special diet, which has completely eliminated processed foods from my world, I have become super aware of what is in my food. I have found my food tastes more robust and flavorful.... I have gone from eating whatever I could drag out of the freezer, unwrap, and throw in the microwave, or toss into a skillet from a box to eating things like:

Breakfasts

  • oatmeal or cream of wheat with fresh fruit
  • a hunk of fresh baked bread drizzled with honey
  • an omelet made with fresh veggies
  • homemade egg "McMuffins"

Lunches and Dinners

  • home made Mediterranean pizza
  • big fresh green salads
  • chicken and seasoned veggies over rice
  • lemon baked Tilapia and taboule stuffed in a home made pita
  • well seasoned soups served with crusty home made french bread
  • egg salad made with home made mayonnaise served on fresh baked bread

Snacks

  • home made granola bars
  • fresh fruits and veggies
  • nuts
  • home made hummus dip with fresh bread or veggies
  • a mug of herbal tea


I really do love this way of eating, and I wonder why I didn't do it on my own before! It does take a bit more time, and finding fresh wholesome ingredients can be a bit of a challenge when you are on food stamps, but it is well worth the digging! Just in case you were wondering what diet the Doctor put me on:


I have been advised to eat:
  • fresh, dried, and frozen fruits and veggies
  • eggs
  • fresh fish and poultry
  • real honey
  • goat cheeses like feta
  • dairy products, moderately
  • fresh, home made breads
  • dried beans, peas, and lentils
  • nuts and nut butters
  • whole grains (including rolled oats, barley, brown rice, millet.....etc....)
  • olive oil
  • All seasonings except salt and salt substitutes
  • tea, coffee, and water (but I don't drink coffee and only partake in herbal teas)


I am to avoid:

  • any pre-frozen meats (because they are injected with salt solutions before freezing)
  • canned meats
  • beef and pork
  • any foods that come in cans, bottles, bags, or boxes (except for those things specifically allowed above)
  • juices
  • chocolate (the horrors!!!!)
  • salt and salt-substitutes
  • refined sugars and sugar substitutes

That limits my shopping to the fringes of the stores, where they keep the perishables, and to the baking aisle and dried beans and grains aisle.

I have also found that there is a big difference between real food and edible food-like substances.... I have also noticed that my local superchain food store has less real food and more of the "other" stuff. Take honey for example.... if you go to the store and pick up a bottle of honey, you probably hold in your hand a bottle containing a little real honey stretched by corn syrup and other fillers. But you can go to a place where you can buy a jar of real honey made by local bees, not only is the taste substantially different (better in my opinion) the product will be better metabolized by the body, and you are less likely to have seasonal allergies because that honey is made from your local flora!

I have found a neat website eatwellguide.org where you can search your area for places where you can purchase wholesome, fresh, sustainable food.... which I have become more aware of. I figure if I am eating this way, I might as well eat the best I can, so I am looking at buying more of my things from local sources, where I can be sure that the food I am eating is fresh and not covered in pesticides or other toxins.

I really thought that switching my eating habits would be harder. It has been a little difficult not grabbing that bag of chips when I get the munchies, but it is getting better every day. I really have been spoiled by convenience foods, which is apparent from the size of my waist and the myriad of health problems that have come with that. I know that eating this more healthy and natural diet will help with my recent diagnosis of Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, Stress, and mood problems.

I am going to post a new recipe that I have found every week so that if you want ideas for a more healthy eating style, you can join me at Choice Spirit's Kitchen!

I would love to hear from you if this post has inspired you to make changes in your life.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

There is a light at the end of the tunnel....

I know I haven't posted in a while.... to be honest I haven't had much motivation. I have been a bit depressed. I don't know if it is the weather or the lack of adult companionship outside of my family or my recent menstrual cycle..... or what..... but I finally have come out of my slump and am starting to feel better!

I was listening to BYU-Radio yesterday, and they were playing a song called "Lead Kindly Light". I have heard and have sung this song at church, but to be honest I never really paid attention to the lyrics. For some reason though I actually *HEARD* it and it made me cry.... not unusual for me lately as I have been depressed..... but still.....

After the song was over, I got this thought of .... hey it would be nice to listen to a devotional, I am feeling pretty spiritual right now... so I went to BYU-TV and clicked on a devotional at random.... and the talk was entitled "Keep my Feet" which is a line from the song "Lead Kindly Light".... I laughed and listened to the talk. This isn't my first run in with coincidence, you know....

Then after it was over I decided to see what's on BYU-TV right now (the talk I listened to was aired on BYU-TV at 4am this morning.... and since they were showing some sports show, I decided to listen to a conference talk from this last April... so I am looking at the list of Conference sessions and I think... which one should I listen to, and I decide.... what the heck I will just start at the beginning, and I click on the Saturday Morning Session.... and the Choir starts singing "Lead Kindly Light".....

I think I am starting to get the message the universe is trying to tell me something here....

so I looked up the lyrics to "Lead Kindly Light"

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I
Have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith, home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.

This song really strengthened my testimony that God knows me and knows where I am in life and that he is with me always and all I have to do is listen for that still, small voice to help me take one more step in the right direction. As the devotional I listened to said (and I am paraphrasing), I don't need to understand what will happen in the distant future, I don't even have to know what is around the next big corner in my life, I only have to trust that God knows, and that He will 'keep my feet' and lead me safely to where I need to be.

I recently found out that Brown University, in conjunction with Rhode Island Hospital, is researching to see if Zoloft can help to reduce the occurrence of stress-induced non-epileptic seizures in those with depression... Although I am eligible for the study, I do not have the means to get out to Rhode Island for 12 weeks so that I can participate, so I have given my doctor a copy of the study, and I am going to try to get on Zoloft and see if that will help me.

I really want to be there for my family and I just can't do that when I feel like I am at the bottom a a big deep well and someone at the top is shoveling in the dirt.... I just need to shake off the dirt and take a step up... and eventually I will reach the top!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Alex's First Shoes


Alex is 13 1/2 months old now, and with spring coming we will be going to the park more often, so we needed to get Alex some real shoes (all he has ever worn is socks and slippers). I can't believe he is wearing an infant's size six already!