I jumped off the Deep End! Now Sugar Free AND Gluten Free

The year 2017 started with a vengeance of depression and anxiety for me.  I felt like I was weighed under by a heavy storm cloud.  I had panic attacks that plagued me during the night.  I had no joy anywhere despite knowing in my head that I was incredibly blessed.  I felt like the worst Christian ever!

I knew I was overweight and that doesn’t help any thing.  A few years ago (can’t remember when) I became gluten free accidentally and realized my achy joints weren’t aching so much!  So that is one reason I became 100% gluten free.

Because I was already gluten free, I thought that maybe the Paleo Diet would help me.  Have you heard of the Paleo lifestyle?  It is whole foods based, natural sugars like honey and maple syrup, and great to help with the body’s inflammation.  Lots of good research out there on it.  I purchased several books to help this journey.

I tried this lifestyle for about 6 months.  Overall, my eating changed significantly.  I gave up white potatoes and white rice, eating cane sugar, and now ate an even  wider variety of fruits and vegetables.   But I noticed, I still felt jittery when I ate these foods.  I could literally feel my blood sugar rising after eating.  Not an enjoyable feeling.

Our county fair is one of the busiest weeks of our year.  I ate my normal breakfast, had a salad for lunch and found an easy gluten free meal along with ice cream on the midway each night.  I wanted to enjoy something fair food-y.  But at the end of the week, I got sick.  SICK.  My anxiety was so high.  I lived in the bathroom for 10 days.  Was this stress related?  A bug since I was surrounded by so many people for 10 days?  What was going on?

I knew something had to change and I was drawn to the Trim Healthy Mama website and Facebook group.  I forgot that I had ordered the new cookbook on Amazon’s pre-order program in May.  It arrived during this time of sickness.

I called to God and said “Something has to change!!”  One thing I love about the new Trim Healthy Table book is that it has a chapter on the benefits of following the plan.  The premise of the plan is that you eat proteins with every meal and mix either with healthy fats OR healthy carbohydrates.  But NOT both together.  I was intrigued with helping blood sugars but didn’t like the ideas of artificial sweeteners.  I
don’t like their taste, don’t like that they are made from chemicals, changed they way you need to bake. Nope, not one bit.

 

But HAD to change something.    As I was reading, I saw that the sugar substitutes were from natural plants, not chemicals, so I was ready to try it.  And I jumped in with both feet.  Started following the plan 100%.

Within a week, I noticed that I felt more awake.  I felt satisfied with my food.  No blood sugar spikes.  My emotions felt calmer and I noticed a significant decline in my panic attacks.

After a month, we went up to camp and I brought most of my food but thought I could eat a few of their meals.  By the end of the weekend, I was feeling awful, my blood sugar was spiking and my anxiety came back with a vengeance.  Okay, no more cheating!

For Christmas, Daryl brought homemade fudge an employee had made. It was delicious!!!   I ate a piece but had a panic attack that night.  Then our anniversary was at the end of the month and the restaurant gave a beautiful piece of french silk pie.  I couldn’t stop with just one bite as Daryl had already eaten his half.  So rich and dreamy…..   The next morning I woke up completely trashed.  Like I was hung over!  I got a good night sleep but had to take a three hour nap that day.  NO MORE SUGAR!!!!

I must say I do not feel deprived on this meal plan.  I have delicious meals.  I choose to eat a dessert every day.  I know how to choose meals when we eat out.  I FEEL SO GOOD!!

I find recipes on Pinterest and other blogs and use the two Trim Healthy Mama cookbooks.

My family isn’t completely on plan but they gladly eat anything I cook.  In fact, with one recipe, Bodie comes up and cuts the biggest square out of the middle.  I’d love to have my family completely sugar free but not going to force them to do it.

I’d love to have everyone feel as good as I do, so ask me any questions!!

Bible Study review of A Woman who Doesn’t Quit

We live in a rural area but I know the importance of daily Bible studying.  You may not believe it but I have to limit my trips to town because I do live at home – not in the car running errands.  So I get Bible studies that have daily work and then online video sessions.  The video sessions make it feel like I’m doing it with my best friend.  Even though these ladies don’t even know me!!

I start my day with the devotional called “Jesus Calling” and have used it every morning for maybe 8 years??  And it still speaks to me almost every day!  I have tried to start new books but my heart goes back to this.

2017 wasn’t the best year for me completing Bible studies!  Ugh.  I started and finished only one.  ONE.  Thankful I had the bible verses from Jesus Calling to get me through.

But the one I completed is a GOOD one.  Obviously it was the one that God wanted me to do.

 

It is called “

Woman who doesn’t Quit.  Five Habits from the Book of Ruth” by Nicki Koziarz.  Fitting title, don’t you think??  It only took me 6 months to do a 6 week study.

It is a powerful study.  Talks about hard situations and how to press through them.

 

Watching the video lessons made me feel that Nicki and I were chatting over coffee.  Which is exactly what I needed.  She shared her struggles and I could share mine too.

I won’t be giving anything away by sharing the 5 habits because the daily study is the powerful part.  That’s where the Lord worked in my heart.

I’m going to share them so I can review the habits myself:

  1. She accepts the assignment of refinement.
  2. She follows through despite how she feels.
  3. She stays open to the movement of God.
  4. She gives others what she needs.
  5. She moves forward in faith.

I love the story of Ruth.  I’d love to study even deeper but this is what I needed at just this time.  I hope you will consider adding this to your bible study wish list.

 

Happy New Year! Welcome 2018

Welcome to the New Year!  2018!!  Say what??

As I was listening to KLove today, I hear January described as the most depressing month of the year.  I am not feeling that this year.

Last year (2017) was a rough year for me.  I felt like I had a mental breakdown and that affected every aspect of my life.  I was deep in a depressive pit.  My anxiety wasn’t allowing me sleep.  I was a wreck.  But I tried many things to help and by September/October, I finally made enough changes that I could see a positive change in my health.

I tried to take back charge of our finances and what happened!?!?!  Everything broke!  Cars, appliances, legal bills, so much that my Dave Ramsey emergency fund just laughed.

I started Bible studies and then dropped out of them.

We had lots of farming disasters.

Riley started our local community college classes and it was so hard to manage three different grade levels.  My mental capacity was gone.

BUT…..

That year is over.  I ended up seeing that God brought me to my knees to realize I am not enou

gh.  But He is.  He is with me through all of this.  And all this is part of his creative story for my life.  I say creative because everything He does, does not fit into man’s idea of how it should be done but so much more!

 

As I reflected on the season of Christmas, the Son of God did not come to earth in a glorious , kingly way.  He came down in the most humblest of ways.  Born to a single teenager in a stinky smelly stable.  If God can save the world in the most creative way, I am going to let him work his ways in my life too.  It will be in a way I don’t imagine but I am going to trust his ways.

I ended up finishing the Bible study I dropped out of 6 months before.  And do you know the title?  It was called “The Woman who wouldn’t Quit.”  How ironic.  And I learned so much through it.  I want to do it again!

Finances still are not good but it has encouraged me to teach biblical personal finances to the kids this year.  I wish I had something like that when I was growing up.

Riley finished her two college classes and finished strong.  We learned so much about areas I haven’t been a good teacher and learned that she works harder for teachers other than her mother!  So we’ll keep her in a couple of those classes each semester.

Disasters are part of farming and I’ve researched some possible solutions.

I took a few days off between the holidays to reflect on our year and things we learned and now I know what to focus on for the next year.

I am truly excited for on the New Year!!!

Get out of Debt: Meal Planning

After examining our spending for a moth, I saw a huge area where we were not in control.  Spending on food.  This covers groceries AND eating out.  I always thought we didn’t eat out much but the numbers don’t lie!!  Granted, Daryl took a trip with the kids and they had to eat out the entire time but still, our spending was crazy!  And then because I hadn’t planned well for lunches, we’d have to grab something while running errands.  Lack of planning is my downfall!

So after setting our food budget this month, I sat and stared in our pantry.  It’s fairly well stocked with basics.  What things can I make meals from in here?  Then I went and stared in our freezers.  We raise our own meats (beef, pork, chicken) so we have more than the average person in our freezers.  I then started a list of all the meals we can make from these ingredients.

Another pitfall I discovered about lack of planning is there is nothing leftover to eat for the next lunch.  My kids do not like sandwiches and my lunch choices have not been very healthy or budget conscious.

I have been following a blog mom lifeasmom.com for many years. She is the queen of meal

planning, shopping with a budget, being organized and freezer cooking. I have one of her cookbooks called Not Your Mother’s Freezer Cookbook which we love.  I love her recipes because they are real food ingredients.  And I can easily adapt to gluten free for me.

 

So I looked through her cookbook and immediately saw 10 recipes that would be kid approved and easy for me to fill my freezer with for lunches.

I don’t meal plan like some who say “Monday is this,  Tuesday is this…”  I just write down the meals we have all the ingredients for.  Then the morning of, I examine my day and usually ask the kids what they prefer off the list.  Unless it’s a crazy day and know I need a crockpot type  meal and start that preparation the night before.

So I wrote down all the dinner and lunch plans, made a list of where I get them, and then shopped.  I didn’t add up how much I was spending as it was the beginning of the month and these were all staples.

This past Saturday, I got to work on filling freezer with lunch meals and canning.  The meals were mostly for my kids.  I took some of the main ingredients (like the chicken from the chicken bacon ranch sandwiches) and added spaghetti squash for them for my lunches.  Then I wrapped them up, labeled them and put them in the freezer.  They can be thawed and heated the morning of eating.

The effort makes me so happy!  Freezer filled with yummy foods!  And making sure I stay on spending plan.