Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Recipes

I am doing this post more for me that anything else. I've spent the last few days collecting recipes to get us through Christmas. Our celebrating starts tonight.

Glazed Turnips
-2 lbs turnips, peeled and quartered
-4 T. ghee
-1 cup beef stock
-plunge turnips into boiling salted, filtered water fr 3-5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Saute in ghee until lightly browned. Add stock and boil down until turnips are coated and liquid has almost completely evaporated.

Breakfast Tomorrow (for opening our stockings):

Egg Casserole
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 c. milk (I'm going to try to sub with 3/4 c. chicken stock)
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee, melted
  • 1-2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • about 1 c. diced ham
  • Cashew Cheese
    1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
    1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours
    1 1/4 cup water
  • drain the cashews and put them in blender with the water. Blend until very
  • In a skillet, add the cashew milk and turn heat to high.
    Stir frequently to prevent sticking and reduce to a low
    simmer as soon as it boils. Keep stirring and cover to
    keep it from splattering. Continue to cook for a few
    more minutes, then remove it from heat.
  • preheat oven to 400. Grease 9X9 pan with ghee or coconut oil. With wire whisk, beat eggs, stock, spinach, salt, pepper, and ghee until mixed. Add cashew cheese. Pour into pan. Sprinkle ham evenly over top. Bake 20 min or until set and golden.
  • I may leave out the cashew cheese as this will be a test to see if we can tolerate cashew butter and we can't over do it. Most of the other recipes for the day also have cashew butter in them.
Cashew Butter Pancakes
1 C pureed, cooked squash or zuchinni
1 C nut butter (we used cashew butter made from soaking cashew 6 hours then blending)
5 pastured or free-range organic eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 T cinnamon
dash of cloves, nutmeg, and any other "pumpkin pie" type spice

Separate the eggs, and beat the whites until fluffy (soft peaks are fine). In a large bowl, mix together the 5 egg yolks, the squash, the nut butter, and the salt and spices. Blend thoroughly. Fold the egg whites into this mixture gently, so that the resulting batter is airy and light.

Cook on a well-greased griddle on a somewhat low heat, as they do burn easily. Flip them gently as they do not stay together as well as regular pancakes.

Jesus' Birthday Cupcakes
-1 c. cashew butter (made from soaked cashews)
-1 Tbsp. ghee or unrefined coconut oil
-1/2-1tsp. stevia
-2 pastured or free-range organic eggs seperated
-Mix stevia, butter. ghee and egg yolks together. Beat egg whites until stiff then fold into mixture. Pour into cup cake liners.
--1/2 c. ghee
--3/4 tsp. stevia
--1-1.5tsp vanilla (alcohol free)
--1/8c. nut butter
Bake at 300 for about 20 min for cupcakes

Christmas Cookies
2 cups almond flour (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
4 T ghee, melted (Coconut oil also works)
1/4 cup honey or 1/4-1/2 tsp. Stevia
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp salt

Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup shredded coconut, 1/4 cup chopped nuts
350 degrees

1. Cream together first three ingredients. Add the spices.
2. Fold in optional ingredients, if using.
3. Drop by spoonfuls on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

another day

"Any problem that comes while I obey God (and there will be many), increases my overjoyed delight, because I know that my Father knows and cares, and I can watch and anticipate how He will unravel my problems." -Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest

I have had some harder days. Friday, I had one of the worst die off reactions I've had. I could hardly stand up, couldn't think straight, felt very moody and easily frustrated. Thankfully, Brian came home a little earlier and I was able to take a detox bath which really helped. He also gave me a big break this weekend and took care of the kids most of the weekend. I've had a set back in my symptoms due to eating out three times this weekend...even though almost everything I ate was something I've been able to handle so far. (I did cheat and eat 4 chocolates at Brian's holiday party, they were just too beautiful). This is the point I get very discouraged and start to feel sorry for myself.

The above quote from Oswald Chambers is helpful today to help me rely on God for strength to get back on the wagon and find joy in another day of chicken soup.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I have been putting of doing a post on this subject for a while because of the topic. Poop. There it is...I said it. I can't put it off any longer because it is a main topic in our home. I have also learned and benefited from so many other bloggers describing their situations. I will not go into mother-in-law reads this blog. :)

All I have to say is you might think all poop is ugly until you've waited 3 years for a normal one. Then, that my friends, is a beautiful sight! We are starting to see normal BMs in our house!! This crazy thing we're doing is starting to work. AB is still struggling and Grayson is just barely making progress, but its progress.

So, I know everyone is asking now if their own poop is "beautiful" poop. The Bristol Stool Chart gives an example of how to classify your BMs.

Type 5 is ideal, and Type 4 is close to ideal.

Type 6 is borderline normal. Type 7 is diarrhea. Types 1-3 are all constipation.

To read more about the Bristol Stool chart and what constitutes as normal stool click here.

We have made it a week into the Intro Diet (Part 2). It has been a great week! I can't believe how much easier it is the second time around. I have experienced die off reactions but they pass. Last time, I never felt like they passed. It is definitely hard when it hits me. All of a sudden I will feel like I can hardly stand up and I can't think straight. I might also have a wave of emotions but then I'll have long stretches of feeling pretty good. And, I've already told you about our poop victory.

Gray and AB have been very happy with the food. No one complains when we have beef stew for breakfast. It really has been a restful and peaceful week. Tyler has been with my mom during this time and now that he is back I feel the need to be more creative with our food again. He is much more focused on food and much more opinionated about what is being served. He asks about eating ALL day long. He doesn't eat much at meal times and then begs for snacks all day. This causes stress at meal times and tension all during the day. I've been brainstorming ways to alleviate this and would love input from other moms as to how they handle picky eater, refusal to eat and constant demands for snack.

This is my current strategy: Keep our meal time rules of
1. at least one bite of everything
2. no complaining or arguing about the food (asking for something not on the plate or table is considered arguing)
3. staying at the table until everyone is done eating

These have always been our rules but I start to enforce other rules because I get fearful that he won't eat. I make him eat x amount of veggies before he can have more meat or be done, etc. Can't have dessert until you've eaten x. I've decided I'm going to lay off and try very hard not to get into battle with him, even if he only eats one bite of everything on his plate for every meal.

My other strategy is to serve dinner family style. If they had it their way they would eat only their favorites and keep asking for more and more of that until their full and ignored their veggies. By having the food in the middle of table I hope they'll be able to get a visual of when the preferred food is gone or needed to be saved so others can some.

My last strategy is to keep a box in the fridge that is for Tyler's snacks. I'll fill it in the morning and he can help himself to any snack in there but when they're gone, they're gone. If its not in the snack box then it's not a snack for today. We'll see how it goes.

Like I said, I would love any ideas. My main goal is to give him more control and to alleviate the arguing and bantering that goes on surrounding food.

Back to the intro diet...We've taken it a lot slower this time with the introduction of one new vegetable a day so I can see if we react to vegetables. I've updated the list of what we can eat and will try to update it regularly.

Thanks for all the encouraging words and prayers. Keep them coming!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Back Again

It's been a very long time since my last post and there are many reasons for that. The first being the fact that I am spending so much time cooking that I don't have time for many other things. The other reason is we've been traveling. Brian and I got to go on our first vacation (just the two of us) in five years, since the birth of our first born. I know many people don't get that at all and it was such a treat. We were gone for a week and my children stayed with my in-laws and my mom. I had to cook food for them to eat while gone (though my mom bit the bullet in learning to cook all these new recipes and cooked all her food) and cook food for me to take with me. We returned from vacation and left 10 days later to visit family for Thanksgiving.

This has made the work load for cooking much larger and its also been hard to stay motivated. I took a break from the diet while on vacation because, well, its vacation. That has made it hard to get back into it once home. I reached a day a couple of weeks ago (in between trips) where I hit a wall and could not cook another thing. It has also been such a struggle with my oldest. He has always been obsessed with eating and he is so sad about all the food missing. Every meal was becoming a battle and I couldn't take the arguing anymore.

We decided to give him a "break" from the diet. He was elated with this news. The "break" is just taking him off the Intro diet and moving him to full GAPS diet. We also let him have GAPS illegal treats over Thanksgiving. I am really seeing the effects of it now. Like my husband said the other day, "it feels like we can't win either way." With the illegal foods he has had severe stomach aches, become very argumentative and controlling (behavior we used to see back in the spring before we took him off of dairy and soy), had less control over his body (always moving, in your space, falling off of chairs, etc), and now he is more resistant to the foods he was eating well (cultured vegetables, supplements, even eggs).

My husband and I have had a lot of talks lately about what does "middle ground" look like for us. Its a hard question. To follow the GAPS protocol does not allow for much middle ground and if we want to see long term healing, we need to follow the protocol as close as possible. But, the stress it causes to follow the protocol can not be healthy either.

So, this is where we're at right now. I have started the Intro Diet over again--I'm on Day 4. I spent about a month cheating and not sticking strictly to the diet and have started feeling awful again. It took me about 6 weeks to get to stage 3 before, I'm hoping it won't take near as long to progress this time. I am going to be more careful about what vegetables and spices I introduce and really look for reactions.

I am also starting Gray (my second) over again tomorrow. My mom is taking my oldest for a few days so I don't have to deal with feeding them different things. I am praying we move fast with Gray so when my oldest comes back I can feed them somewhat similar things.

I feel a lot more prepared this time. I know its going to be hard. I'm expecting to feel very tired and moody for at least a month. I know now it will get better. At about 2 months into the diet I was really feeling positive and liking the foods. My cravings are strong right now but now as strong as they've been in the past.

My biggest prayer is to feel joy and peace in the midst of disappointment and trial. Every diaper, every meal, every behavior, every refusal of food is a chance for me to feel like a failure. I want to not be rocked by those circumstances and instead keep my eye on God's ability to give me wisdom and strength.