One of our SOUL Sisters who attended Orlando this past year is having a rough go of it lately. Her husband has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor after having a seizure. He has had the same job for 18 years and he is not able to keep it with seizures. They are struggling to not only keep their heads above water, but also get through this medical crisis. Many mamas who know her expressed interest in contributing to a fund for her and her family.
This morning, with her permission, I set up a Chip In account. Any funds that are deposited there will go directly to her paypal account. No one else is the go between. Your donations go directly to her and her wonderful family.
Dustin was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night with vomiting. They thought it was another bowel blockage like we had in October and he was immediately transferred to the new hospital that was just finished.
Turns out after a visit from the GI doc that he has nothing going on in the bowels and after reviewing the films from October, that was likely not an obstruction either. Seems we may be dealing with Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome or possibly something else like a physical issue with his bowel that could be causing this. An upper and lower GI study is in order, but since he just had a CT scan with contrast they cannot do that until the contrast is completely out of his system.
The other issue is that for some reason he is having trouble urinating and they have no idea why. It is all very curious. They have said that we will likely end up in the hospital a couple more times until they get this figured out. So very tiring!
On top of everything else he is not able to get his psych meds and that is compounding to the troubles. I am just at my wits end! Prayers would be appreciated.
He is an example of what we have for a meal. Saturday night we had what I called taco wraps for dinner. We took whole wheat tortillas and filled them up with tons of goodies! I mashed up a can of black beans and a half and avocado with some finely diced onions and a tsp of cumin. That was used as our "meat". Then we added lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, salsa, and a simple guacamole madewith the other half of the avocado, lime juice, salsa, and cilantro. We topped it off with a squirt of lime juice. We also had the remainder of our rice and beans from the other night. Which was brown rice, a can of great northern beans rinsed and a can of tomatoes and chiles.
Breakfast today was a warm oatmeal. We each took a 1/2 c of rolled oats (not instant) and added some frozen blueberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, banana slices and about a 1/4 cup of blueberry pomegranate juice. We then stuck the bowl in the microwave for 3 minutes. Holy moley it was good!! The varieties are endless!
Today for lunch we had a plates of raw veggies (cauliflower, celery, carrots, green peppers, orange peppers, and cucumbers), some whole grain pita chips and some hummus. This kids were not thrilled with the hummus, so we added a bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice and that did the trick. We all ate at least a pound of fresh vegetables.
Yesterday I stepped on the scale just to be curious. I was expecting a bit of loss, maybe a pound or two. I was down 9 pounds!! Today I lost another 4 pounds. Whew! This stuff is for real.
I have not even been following the plan hard core. I have been trying my best to be frugal and use things that are already in our home that aren't too terribly bad for us. But I have been pushing the vegetables and fruit like crazy.
After posting my excitement on facebook, people have of course been asking "What are you doing?". So here ya go . . .
The Fuhrman plan's entire premise is making your body work the way it is intended. It is all about giving your body the proper nutrient rich foods that aid in digestion. It gives your body the tools to work properly. There is a bunch of science that talks about Isothiocyanates, Anti Oxidant Response Elements, Angiogenesis and Aromataseinihibitors, and Myrosinase. I learned all sorts of things, like chewing cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage etc. while they are raw releases ITC (isothiocyanate) which are important for our immune system. I also learned that Angiogenesis inhibitors bind to bad cells and identify them to the body as being bad and needing attacked. Angiogenesis inhibitors include mushrooms, garlic, soy, cinnamon, berries and greens. Mushrooms are Aromatase inhibitors that actually target cancer cells. All this information comes together to give an outline for what we should be eating daily for maximum health.
The Eat to Live plan looks like this in a nutshell.
1 pound of raw vegetables 1 pound of cooked vegetables 1 cup of beans 1-2 oz of nuts and seeds 3 fresh fruits
Components should include GOMBBS or Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Beans, Berries and Seeds. Easy Peasy! Plant strong!
I am finding that the Eat to Live recipes from the book are quite involved. I think that I will be putting a lot of my own things together as we transition completely. The salad dressings in the book are awesome and I have also collected a bunch of recipes from the Engine No. 2 diet and from the Fat Free Vegan blog that follow the Eat to Live program. I am just starting to put together a menu and I will share what our week looks like as we move forward.
We have invested in a good blender (not the Vitamix as it is $500!) and a nice juicer. I am working on a plan to increase our garden this summer and grow a myriad of things that we will use. I plan on learning how to can vegetables. I also plan on making weekly trips to our farmers market with my mom. (she and my stepdad are also on this journey!)
An example of what we are eating now. . .
last night's dinner -
Whole wheat tortillas filled with refried beans, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and mexican rice.
The mexican rice was simply a cup of brown rice in a sauce pan and I dumped in a can of great northern beans drained and rinsed and a can of tomatoes and chiles and simmered for 5 minutes.
I am not saying I didn't miss the sour cream and cheese, but I lived! It was super filling and quite yummy.
This past Saturday I attended a conference with the amazing Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It was held at the church where I work and I had been contemplating going for some time. I was blessed to get to attend at the last minute and I am so grateful I did!
A few weeks ago, we decided at the prompting of my kid's doctor to go milk free. Since that time I have started reading about the milk industry and it scares the living daylights out of me! The stuff we put in our bodies is disgusting. We started eliminating fast food about 4 months ago. It was difficult but oh so worth it! The junk that they do to the "food" there is mind-blowing! I don't need my food injected with sugar and salt to make me crave more. I don't need pesticides and antibiotics! I want food, real food that makes my body work!
We are leaving for Spring Break in 2 1/2 weeks. We will go full tilt boogy when we return, for now, we are finishing up everything in our house that will be considered "toxic" later. For now we are adding a bit here and there as we purchase new food, trying recipes and deciding what works for us. Our diet will be 90% plant based. We will eat unlimited amounts of vegetables and fruits. We will add nuts and seeds as well as a bit of grains and a minute amount of animal products. We will become NUTRITARIANS. Our bodies will learn to function as they were intended. Our bodies will learn to heal and we will enjoy life.
As we make this journey, I will likely report here how it is going. I don't think it will be easy, but I think it will be worth it! So many people have given me support and offered ideas that they employ. The small changes we have already made are making a difference! My kids adapted well to the no-dairy portion. They went from hating water to embracing it! Their digestive systems are working better. Harrison CHOSE bell peppers for a snack the other day! CHOSE it! McCartney on the other hand HATES this. While she was laying on the floor of Sam's Club the other day whining about not getting cereal, Harrison asked her if she wanted to die earlier eating JUNK. She said, "Yes, I would rather die than eat this way!" Haha! She will adjust . . . sooner or later she will get hungry and it will become easier. She is all for the green smoothies, so I just keep adding things in there that I know she needs whether it be mushrooms, nuts or seeds.
I am already noticing that I am no longer craving sugar and salt. I can only hope that we continue with this and our bodies begin to function the way God intended. Sitting listening to Dr. Fuhrman the other day I realized how very much we rely on medication. One of his analogies was that medication was like a mechanic who cuts the wire to the check oil light in a car instead of actually changing the oil! I hope we can eliminate costly and dangerous medication in the lives of both of us as well as the children. I am heading into the journey with my mom and stepdad too so we can lean on one another. It will be hard, but we will do it.
So here is GOOD-BYE to 282 pounds! While I am not doing this expressly for weight loss, it will be a nice product. I would love to lose 100 pounds in the next year. Most people doing this nutritarian diet lose 75-100 pounds in the first 12 months so we shall see! Benefits include lowered cholesterol, lowered blood pressure, blood sugar regulating, etc. I am looking forward to being healthy for the first time ever!
I am hanging onto the promise that "Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels!"
Last weekend, I attended the Early Trauma and Attachment Meeting for mamas who are parenting kids with attachment issues. Orlando is no longer a place for me.
It is difficult to blog about my experience as I want to keep it for myself. I will say that I felt more accepted, more loved, more understood, more at HOME than I have ever felt since we began this journey of foster care and adoption. I came home with a peace that it hard to understand let alone explain. Yesterday, Corey responded to something I wrote and said, "Orlando is a sacred experience that is nearly impossible to describe" and that is right where I am.
Last year at this time I said I would never go to Orlando. I thought it was wonderful, but I never thought it was my cup of tea. Then my world was shaken and I needed the support. Laurie pushed me to my limits and forced me to take a leap of faith. Corey encouraged me and placed me in the perfect Villa. The ladies I spent the weekend with will forever be part of my family. In some ways, they know me better than my family does. I was gifted with the most important friendship that I have ever had prior to coming to Orlando (because of Orlando) and got to bask in her goodness while there. I was blessed.
I sat with women who told me stories that made my hair curl. I sat and wept with others. I laughed. I felt an immediate sense of sisterhood. I created a bond with ladies that have forever changed the woman, the mother and the friend that I am. For that I am forever thankful. I am changed. I am better.