Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Happy Snack

So we're all starting to feel the urge to hibernate.  Here's a snack that provides incredible nutrition, is a favorite for many, is easily transported, will keep for weeks........BUT you must follow the recipe carefully, otherwise you'll stress your body out and end up with a tummy ache. 

Crispy Cashews
Place 4c. raw cashews in a bowl.  Cover with pure water.  Stir in 2tbsp. sea salt.  Let sit at room temp. for 6hrs. - no more, no less.  Strain, but don't rinse.  Roast in oven at a max. of 250 degrees.  I usually roast at 170.  Roast until you like the texture.  Store in a jar with a tight lid or ziploc bag.  Mix with raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips or whatever you want!

Crispy Pecans/Walnuts
Place 4c. nuts in a bowl.  Cover with pure water.  Stire in 2tbsp. sea salt.  Let sit at room temp. for 8hrs. or overnight.  Strain, but don't rinse.  Roast in oven at a max of 150 degrees.  My oven only goes as low as 170, so I heat to 170, then turn it off for awhile, then repeat until I like the texture of the nuts.  Mix with raisins, etc., as you like.

**Here's the deal with soaking the nuts:  Nuts are made with "enzyme inhibitors."  These prevent the nut from being digested in your gut, causing your pancreas to work overtime, thus causing stress on your whole body (adrenals are badly affected, as well as your insulin response).  If you soak the nuts as directed, the enzyme inhibitor is broken down and digested properly, helping your body to receive the wonderful benefits of this highly nutritious food.  Very important not to roast them above the temps. listed in the recipe.  Overheating will kill those precious enzymes you released when you soaked the nuts!  I am always hard-pressed for quick protein.  Having been pregnant and nursing for the last 10yrs., my hormones are quite demanding on my body.  Protein helps balance these monsters and helps keep me "happy."  You MUST start your day with protein if your hormones give you any trouble at all.  That's why I like these nuts.  I keep them in a ziploc bag in the pantry.  After I've taken all my little morning routine potions (still with my eyes half-shut), I toss small handful of the nuts into a cup and mix in a little something sweet and chomp them as I go about my morning.  This has helped me tremendously in my tendancy to have hormonal panic episodes when things get cooky around here, and they always do.  Anyway, this is super easy.  Hope it makes you happy too!

Posted by Danneca

The photo of the yummy cashews is from flickr:

Raw Giant Cashews
Originally uploaded by Nutsinbulk

Thursday, October 15, 2009

If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

Ever feel blue?  Unhappy?  Work/Husband/Children stressing you out?

I've been there.  More times than I can count.

While there have been times when my happiness depends on someone else changing their ways or other physical factors (sleep, hormone fluctuations, pregnancy, etc...), a simple way for me to change my outlook is to . . . be grateful.

That's it.

No magic potion, no secret pill.

Just gratefulness.



Stop comparing your house with your neighbor's.  Be grateful that you have a place to live.
Quit hounding your husband to finish the (fill-in-the-blank).  Be thankful that he loves you.
Don't stress about your kid fitting in.  Be content with the fact that you have children to care for.

Everyone is different.  You may be in between jobs.  You might not have a husband who loves you.   Maybe you want children but don't have any yet.  But you have things to be grateful for.  Everyone does. 

If you're feeling down, I challenge you to list things you are thankful for.  Write them down.  Post them on your steering wheel.  Write them on your bathroom mirror.  Keep a journal.  Find ways to remind yourself of God's blessings.

What are you grateful for today?

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Monday, October 12, 2009

Need to Let Go?

So, ever have trouble "letting go?"  I'm not a great emotional counselor.  However, if letting go of toxic waste that accumulates in your bowels is your problem, then I'm your gal!

Studies show that a large portion of doctor visits are to treat constipation.  Over-the-counter remedies can have side effects longer term and don't treat the root of your problem, which means you may as well buy stock in the company, because you'll be their customer for life.  Leaving the roots causes of constipation unresolved can be deadly - literally.

First of all, everyone should do a colon cleanse twice per year.  This would include those suffering from chronic constipation and those who have no trouble with healthy elimination.  There are plenty of inexpensive colon cleanses out there.  I like the list found here.

Those suffering from chronic or recurring constipation should look carefully at their diet.  Food sensitivities/allergies can be a cause.  Try keeping a journal of your diet for a couple weeks and see if you can find a correlation between the constipation and what you've eaten.  The biggest culprit is usually dairy, but there are certainly others.

You probably already know that fiber is a huge factor in proper elimination.  Fiber acts as a broom to your colon walls, loosening toxins, bad bacteria, and other waste.  To be frank, white flour should not be part of your diet.  At all.  If, and only if, you make it a point to have lots and lots of healthy fiber in your diet, the rare occasion of your favorite pastry, pizza crust or other treat can be tolerated and properly removed.  

Flax is an excellent source - grind a high quality flax seed in a coffee mill and add 1/4 cup per day to your yogurt or smoothie.  I don't recommend grinding it ahead ahead of time, as it immediately begins losing it's awesome health benefits, like it's healthy fats.  Another great fiber source is new to me, but has shown amazing results in my own experience already!  Who remembers the commercial:  "Ch-ch-ch-chia!"?  Chia seeds!  Order chia seeds from  Browse this website for info on how to use these.  It's super simple and chia is seriously one of the most perfect foods on the planet.  My husband and I have been using them for a couple weeks now and can already see muscle tone and are experiencing the benefits of its slow-release endurance energy.  More on this later.  You probably already know that fruits and and veggies are great sources of fiber and keep your bowels moving.  Psyllium husks are excellent for short term use or on an occasional basis (once/week for chronic constipation or as needed).  Avoid these during pregnancy, as the potential for releasing toxins into the placenta is high.  Whole grains are also excellent sources and should DEFINITELY be part of your routine diet.  Refined grains and sweeteners will rot in your gut, causing all sorts of problems including many cancers.  Eat whole grain foods and brown rice.  Period.

Drinking lots of water should be a no-brainer.  If there isn't enough liquid in your bowels when the waste is formed, it will become hard and difficult to eliminate.

If you are pregnant or newly post-partum, and already have a propensity to have a slower system, you will have to be vigilant about avoiding constipation.  One trick is to eat a piece of fruit that is juicy, like a peach, and as you eat it, drink an 8-10oz. glass of water.  Take a bite; take a drink, until they're both gone.  Do this a couple times per day after you deliver your baby or if you have skipped a day going to the bathroom.  I call it "poop fright" after having a baby - who wants to push waste out after childbirth?!?!

Here's to letting go of all that's holding you back!

**I've recently read that flax is a thyroid inhibitor, so if you are pregnant or nursing, or have thyroid issues, another source of fiber is probably best.  I'm not ready to jump off the flax wagon yet, as this was the first I'd heard of it and haven't looked more deeply into the finding yet. 

Posted by Danneca

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Book You NEED to Read!

When it comes out, that is.  If you don't know Rebecca Petrie's story, you really should read up on it (go here).  She is an amazing woman.  I'm sure her book will be wonderful as well.  I'm including her last email update in this post . . .

Dear Friends,
"October 4th is a very special day. It is the 8th anniversary of my accident!" I was talking with my nurse during my regular morning bath. She was shocked that I saw this anniversary as a special day. To her it all seemed a tragedy. "Oh yes," I continued, "you see it is cause for celebration when God gives you a new life. I was going in one direction and suddenly through one cataclysmic event my world was turned upside down. But you know with God, what seems upside down really means a new plan and new direction." I hadn't planned to say any of this, but as it came out of my mouth I realized the truth of it in a new way.
Eight years ago, as you know, I fell in our stairwell and broke my neck at the second vertebrae, leaving me a quadriplegic. My life for the following several years was a swirl that we had never imagined possible. And yet I found that His providence was working to bring about His own good purpose. I believe there are several factors that have brought me to where I am today: Father's love, grace, strength and courage, the love of my family and friends, and over all the ever sustaining prayers of many.
2 Corinthians 1:11 says, "You help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted to us in answer to the prayers of many." Paul is speaking here of the help given to him by the prayers of many people. My, that's how I feel! Through these years we have been sustained and helped, and our circumstances shaped, by your prayers. It is an awesome thing to realize that our prayers make such a difference. As we come to this 8th anniversary I am humbled--and ever so grateful for you who have supported us, loved us, and prayed for us.
What is on your heart today? What is that for which you are trusting God? You keep praying, and leave with the Father what only He can do. He will bring about the answer and unfold His own good purpose.
With our love,
P.S. -- My account of this experience, Falling into His Grace, is nearly complete, just awaiting some minor corrections. When it is available, we'll forward the details on how to get it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Accountable Kids

As a stay-at-home/homeschool mama with "active, assertive" children, I have often felt like I was a tattle-tale at the end of the day, as I recounted to my husband all the things I thought he should know about.  I had handled the situations during the day, but as I'm sure you find in your home, the kiddos often respond differently to Dad than Mom and particularly some of those boys who happen to have a strong "dominion sensor."

Anyhow, cutting to the chase here, I wanted to find a way to "report" everything we did during the day, the good, the bad and  Being a homeschool family with lofty goals for our children, my husband has let me take the reins in teaching the kids, but likes to know what the heck we do all day.  He doesn't, however, like to listen to me moan about the kids, etc.

I came up with an incredibly simple way for all of us to be accountable to him in our daily accomplishments and attitudes.  I've attached the little report card that I do for each kid at the end of each day (see below).  Don't be impressed with the quantity of subjects listed on the card....we don't do ALL that everyday.  It's pretty self explanatory and I am quite sure that 99.9% of you are more creative and computer savvy than I, so I'm willing to bet whatever you come up with will be a lot prettier and even handier.  My husband doesn't have time to read a big long list of stuff and I'm reporting on 4 kiddos at this point, so lots of verbiage, etc. on each of them is a bit much.  That's how I came up with this one.  Please, oh, please, let me know what you come up with.  I'd love to keep improving on mine.  This has rid me of my temptation to nag, complain to and lecture the kiddos.  I know none of you ever do this.

By the way, I think this could be effective for non-homeschooling families as well, if Mom is the one who gets them out the door in the morning, oversees homework and chores, etc.

Happy Accounting!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Speaking of Manners

Whole Duty of Children
by Robert Louis Stevenson

A child should always say what's true
And speak when he is spoken to
And behave mannerly at table
At least as far as he is able

So my husband and I noticed that our outgoing kids were not using social manners and being courteous with others like we thought they should.  We found ourselves constantly pointing out what they had NOT done in a particular situation and wondering why they did not know what they should have done to show their appreciation for their fellow man.  After thinking about this, it dawned on me that in all our teaching and training, I had somehow passed over a good intentional lesson on how to behave properly in different, everyday circumstances.  I am not overly concerned with etiquette here.  My main concern is that my children realize that everyone - EVERYONE - is created in the image of God and therefore has and deserves honor.  This in mind, I want them to respond accordingly.  I came up with a very simple (are you starting to notice a pattern with my posts....I LOVE "simple!") game to be played with the whole family.  I wrote out 6 or so scenarios, that my kids encounter often, that draw on their social manners skills.  I was their partner for every scenario, usually being the "other" person.  My husband sat with a small dry erase marker board and marker and was the official judge.  He gave the kids a score from 0-2 on their performance.  He is very particular, so even after having played several rounds now, we have yet to see anyone receive a 2.  Anyhow, after the revealing of the score, he gave encouragement and suggestions for improvement.  We've played a couple times since and added a few scenarios each time, as well as keeping the old.  We also had the opportunity to teach the kids how to encourage and appreciate each other even in competition, by applauding each person enthusiastically after their turn.  Your scenarios can be tailored to your social environment, but here are a few samples from our game:  "You are approaching the door to Trader Joe's at the same time as an older woman.  What do you do?"  or  "You are standing on the risers during choir practice.  The boy next to you is tugging on your shirt while you're singing.  What do you do?"  or  "You are playing in the courtyard at church and see Mr. Wiemeyer walking to the gym with armloads of grocery bags.  What do you do?"  or  "We have guests for dinner.  The guest asks for the last ear of corn.  You haven't had any yet."  or  "You are at someone's house for dinner.  They have served dessert, but overlooked you.  What do you do?"  We played with the 5 older kids, ages 3-9.  The 3yr. old needed lots of coaching and direction, but it has really caused her to be more socially aware even if she can't quite pay attention to all the details yet.  Try it out!  We've already seen major improvement!

posted by Danneca