Category: Uncategorized


Where had I been???

You may have noticed I recently returned to my blog with a bang. Four post in three days, and another post today, after being gone for like forever.
My oven functionally died in 2016. I bought a new oven (used) but due to the rigging of the previous owner of our home no one could disconnect the old oven. It was literally cemented in and the gas line made two nearly 90degree turns the get to the oven. And some one rigged an adaptor metric to standard plumbing. It was incredibly unsafe. The stove top was kind of usable but after months of trying to have friends and the Man fix it we finally paid a plumber to remove and properly install the gas line to the new (used) oven.
Also in this timeframe our microwave died. So, no microwave, no oven; only two barely working eyes on the stove top. We used my mother’s toaster oven, our crock pot, rice cooker, and a toaster for a few months. It was and adventure to say the least, but it was not conducive to trying new recipe’s or the time and tools to be creative in the kitchen. Also it was embarrassing and furthered my battle with depression.
But we are blessed enormously. A church member gave us a microwave. A friend loaned us another crock pot for the holidays. And, of course, we did eventually get the new (used) oven safely working.
But, hey, its October! Well I have had the privilege to transfer to Arizona for my job. It’s been a fabulous place and a great opportunity. Though, it has been bumpy. I don’t know where my family would have been without the Man here helping encouraging and keeping the family focus on the Lord. Reminding us to praise Him because of and during the many trails we’ve faced since moving. Our family is closer to each other, closer to God, and stronger than ever.
Here we are in the dessert, it’s a real dessert with cacti, dust storms, and 118 degree temps.
With this incredible heat, it’s 95 degree here today,  I’d like the share a cool recipe It’s a chicken salad recipe I adapted from a friend and co-worker Mrs. Barbara. I like to serve it on high protein gluten free bread. The link to the bread recipe follows the chicken salad recipe.

Mrs. Barbara’s Chicken Salad

Ingredients
2 baked chickens, shredded
1 tsp. Adobo Seasoning
½ c. sandwich spread
1 c. egg free mayonnaise
1 tsp crushed red pepper
¼ c. dried cranberries
½ c. sweet relish (or less this is to taste)
nuts – of your choosing if safe for your family
½ of a red onion finely diced
1 stalk of celery finely diced
(pimentos) optional

Instructions

1. Place all ingredients except chicken in a large mixing bowl
2. Wisk together.
3. Add chicken, stir with a spoon until evenly combined.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Allergen Free Sandwich Spread
2 Tbs. Dairy-free plain yogurt
1 c. Egg free mayo
½ c strained sweet relish (squeeze or drain out all excess liquid)
¼ c French salad dressing
Vigorously stir all ingredients together.
Store refrigerated.

This is the link to Faithfully Gluten Free, a sandwich bread recipe. Her site was formerly called The Baking Beauties. I make this bread high protein by substituting soy protein isolate for skim milk powder and using a high protein soy milk instead of water.

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Protein

This is me whining. If you don’t want to hear it keep scrolling. LOL
One of the major factors that lead to healthy weight loss in women is high protein intake. Weather you eat strictly low calorie, high protein, low cab etc as long as you create a calorie deficit and increase activity you will loose weight. The significance between these end results is your body composition at the end of weight loss: Muscle protein vs. Fat percentage.
What works best for me is a high protein, high produce, low sugar, and limited carb plan. I don’t stick to truly low carb plans very well.
But why the whining you ask? The total amount of protein needed to maintain a healthy weight loss with good muscle composition at the end. My protein needs are as follows.
“Based on the weight, American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommend taking at least 128 – 230 grams of protein per day.
Based on the conditions, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend taking 74 – 260 grams of protein per day, which is 10% – 35% of your daily Calorie intake. “

230g-260g as a max amount of protein seem insane to me.
I shoot for a more moderate 170g-180g per day and almost never make it. In the pantry you’ll find protein shakes, protein bars, nuts, sun butter, meats, eggs, sea food, high protein bread chicken, beans, oatmeal etc. In spite of all these excellent food choices 180g of protein is usually out of reach. The struggle is real.
By the end of the day I am full; tired of chewing and trying to figure out where I could possibly add even more protein.
On a positive note 3-5 serving of veggies and 2-4 servings of fruit is now a breeze.

Anybody have suggestions to make the protein easier?

This post is a day late.
My official weigh in days are Thursdays.
So my weekly weigh in as if Thursday morning 10/12/2017 was 282.2. Yayy!!!!!
That’s 16lbs down WooHoo!

But then comes the struggle.
We’d planned chicken for dinner but the deli area was closing by the time we arrived at the grocery store. I initially suggested pizza as an alternative plan the realized my error and asked the Man for suggestion. He reminded me that I do need to learn to practice self control in difficult eating situations. My general guideline right now is to flee temptation. I can’t eat what I don’t buy.

When I go to McDonalds there is always the option of a salad with grilled chicken but I won’t choose that I will buy the Sriracha burger value mea with large Fries and a Soda. As a result I just don’t go to McDonalds. I cant eat the food if I’m not there.
Or delicious cheese flavored crackers. They are one of my favorites but if I buy a whole box, I’ll eat the whole box so I limit myself to the single serve pack form the vending machine of just don’t buy them at all.
Ordering a pizza, which I have an exceptional weakness for, to be delivered to my home was something I absolutely did not want to do. I almost cried. But in truth the Man was right. I did much better than I have done in the past but I still overate. I had 2 slices and no salad or vegetables at all.
I also had a snack that was high carb ( I thought I’d purchased the low card option) in error. So I put on .5 a pound today.
As of this morning my weight is 282.7lbs.
I’m frustrated and disappointed but at the same time I showed much better restraint than in the past. I’m not yet able to separate emotional comfort and solace from what I eat. It will be a long road to true recovery. Yet this is a baby step in the right direction. Next time I can do better.
Why next time? Because with food and fun and celebrations there is always a next time.
I’ll continue to pray and rely on the lord to see me through this journey.

Loosing Weight

I’ve been obese, morbidly obese nearly all of my adult life. I was wearing a size 18 at 22 years old and weighed in at 225 lbs. I can count the number of “diet attempts” I’d made on one hand I think may four or five. I watched my mom make herself crazy with yo-yo dieting and supplements I never wanted to do that. My weight stopped mattering to me as long as my health metrics were oaky.
No diabetes
No high blood pressure
No heart disease
No PCOS
No fertility problems
No thyroid problems
No life threatening health concerns except…. Except for asthma, I’ve had it all my life and for a long time poorly managed it. I’d noticed the bigger I got the harder it was to manage. Hmmmm
But it was okay I’ve always had asthma and asthma can over time get worse but….. I was 28 and on the strongest dose of my maintenance medication available.

But there were other medications I could try, in the future, If I needed them right??

But along my right side, ankle, knee, hip, lower back mid back neck, and shoulder hurt all the time I’m only 30… that all related to old injuries and pregnancies…..going to the chiropractor will fix that, right???

Then there was depression it hit like a sledge hammer. I’d had an on an off affair with depression since I was a preteen and comfort foods were my fix. They send me an injection of happy. What were my big addictions? Soda, French fries, Pizza. It doesn’t matter if you eat a lot in one sitting but every day with no good nutritional option will take its toll. I needed the soda to settle my stomach after eating crappy foods, and then I felt terrible so I’d get another; I’m thirsty now lets have a third soda. Some days I’s have 8 cans of soda or 3 large drinks from Sonic.

By the time I stepped in a scale in 2014 I weighed 319 lbs, wore a size 26, and was deeply depressed. I was 32. I was suffering and I didn’t know how to loose weight I’d never really tried, giving up foods I liked was too hard I’d literally cry as thought I’d lost a friend. I was addicted to food. I made a series of small changes over time. First I gave up soda. That was hard. But I had a good motivation. I was going to see friend who new me when I was a much smaller woman. They will be my friend no matter my weight but I didn’t want to be shamed.

After a week of no soda I’d lost 7 lbs. now I was motivated!

I started walking every day during my lunch hour. At first I could only walk for 25 minutes. I slowly built up to 2.5 miles-3 miles over lunch.
Then I looked up the recommended amount of fruits and veggies I should be eating an added them to my daily meal plan. I was eating all the time. I would be tired of chewing by the end of my work day.
I read more on nutrition and realized I should have my carbs as whole grains and in the morning for long lasting energy. So I flipped my carb intake to mornings.

Next was protein several studies have shown that women loosing weight need roughly double the normal protein intake to maintain successful and healthy weight loss. So, high protein foods with every breakfast and protein sakes.
Then more physical activity walking, every evening, while taking my kids to the park.

I lost 60 lbs. I was down to 261 by May of 2015., My clothing size was between an 18-20. I bought clothing and a regular department store. I’d never been happier with my size. My depression was alleviated, asthma was getting better my paid was nearly gone.

Then life hit. Stressors that just don’t seem fair for one person to have to endure, and I didn’t fall back on God. I fell apart. I failed. But managed to maintain my weight and have limited, healthy weight gain while pregnant. By 2 months post partum I was back in my “skinny” clothes of 18-20. But I’d lost momentum I was back to stress eating, and having soda, and the weight slowly came back. I got all the way up to 298. Nearly 40lbs gained.

Well, here I am in October of 2017 working on weight loss again, this time instead of loosing weight from shame or for friends my focus is on God. My focus is on health and being a good steward of the body God has given me. Figuring out how to turn stress and anxiety over to God and not to Soda.

As of this morning I’m down to 283.8 almost 15 lbs.

I have accepted I have a food addiction. Instead of relying on God in hard times I’d hold onto my stress and go eat or truthfully go drink soda. I must give up soda maybe permanently but that is a sacrifice I can make to remove that which comes between me and God.
This time I am making the same slow changes but I am preparing for the hard times knowing that it cant be food or hiding in bed that comforts me a sees me through. My comforter is Christ Jesus.
Obedience, patience, and sacrifice as I walk this weight loss road with Jesus.

Cheesy Chicken and Ranch Potatoes

This is an easy meal that I love. It makes a great casserole but if you are pressed for time you can cook the whole meal on the stove top. I have taken to using a few major short cuts in the kitchen that save me soooo such time. Generally speaking, we get our chicken breasts from Sam’s Club in the freezer section 6 lbs. for just under 12 dollars. That’s cheaper than Aldi so it works for me. When I get them home I take 4-6 chicken breasts and wrap them in foil lightly sprinkled with adobo or whatever gluten-free season all I am using and bake them on 275 until cooked completely.
Yes I pop them in still frozen. The foil traps in the moisture and the low temp makes sure they cook completely, if slowly. Anyhoo doing this one short cut I almost always have cooked chicken breasts on hand and this saves a lot of time when cooking dinner. Another time saving measure? I keep ranch dressing mix dairy free, cashew sour cream and coconut milk cheese in my fridge. I don’t let them run out. They are wayyyyyy to useful in making quick meals to ever run out.
This is the whole ranch dressing recipe:
http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/2011/08/ranch-dressing-dairy-free-egg-free-corn-free-nut-free-and-soy-free/
the part I keep handy all the time is the dry ingredients. I make big batches and use 2 ¼ tsp at a time added to ¼ c nondairy buttermilk as per the recipe and then stir the mix in to the cashew sour cream.
• 1/2 tsp. dried Parsley (or 1 tsp. fresh)
• 1/2 tsp dried Chives (or 1 tsp. fresh)
• 1/2 tsp. dried Dill (or 1 tsp. fresh)
• 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
• 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
• 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
• 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Ingredients
6 sliced potatoes
2 chopped chicken cooked breasts
8oz cashew sour cream w/ ranch dip stirred in
4-6 oz coconut milk cheese finely cubed or shredded
1/2 cup green onions chopped
¼ red onion diced
3 Tbs olive oil
Daiya cheddar shreds if desired
Adobo to taste

For stove top preparation
In a 5 qt pot (Dutch oven) on medium heat add olive oil, potatoes, red onion, and adobo. Cook until potatoes have softened about 15-20 min
Once the potatoes have begun to soften add ¼ cup green onion, cashew sour cream, coconut milk cheese.
Mixing well to ensure ‘cheese’ and sour cream are well mixed.
Add chicken, once again mixing well. When completely mixed simmer on lowest heat setting for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Garnish with additional green onions and Daiya if desired

To prepare as a casserole pour all ingredients except for green onions into a large casserole dish (9×13 or larger) stir well to evenly distribute seasonings and ingredients.
Bake @400 for 45 min or until potatoes are tender. Remove and garnish with green onions and extra daiya if desired then bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Remove from oven serve warm.

My family hasn’t had chicken and dumplings  in 2 years because I didn’t have a good sturdy gluten free dumpling recipe. We will be having this often this winter. Dumplings are generally just biscuits added to the stew in the last 10 minutes or so of cooking but none of the gluten free biscuits held together well until now. Nicole has several yummy gf biscuit recipes. If you cant do dairy you will need to make substitutions.
http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-biscuits-and-gravy
I used 4 TBS of brown rice protein powder instead of dry milk.

32 oz chicken broth Pus more as needed
3 Stalks of celery chopped
3 carrots sliced
7.5 Oz corn ( half a can)
1/2 a bell pepper finely diced
1/2 a small red onion very finely diced
1.5 cup Dairy free milk ( I use coconut)
1/3 cup Gluten free flour
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
about 1/2 tsp adobo sin pepper
2-3 cubed chicken breasts cooked

First make the biscuits but do not bake. place the rounds on a cookie sheet and cut the raw biscuits in to 6 or 8. these are now your dumplings. place in the fridge while making stew.
next cook the chicken breasts in a skillet and season with the adobo. set aside.
Then place chicken broth vegetables, herbs and seasonings in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil.
In a separate small bowl mix flour and dairy free milk.
Add chicken mixture to Dutch oven.
Add milk and flour mixture to Dutch oven.
Cook until thickened stirring constantly, on high heat for appx 3 min
Lower temp to lowest setting and allow to simmer until veggies are tender.
Add additional broth to thin soup base if desired
One veggies are tender bring stew to a boil again and add dumplings all at once stirring constantly.
Allow dumpling to cook on high heat for 5-10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in dumplings comes out clean

Names, they are an integral part of our identity. They are one of the first impressions a person receives. It can tell of our culture, of our home. Our names can have weight and meaning. They set us up for various stereotyping both positive and negative.  There are numerous studies on names. For instance people with names beginning with the letter “A” tend to receive more “A’s” in school. Conversely people with names beginning with the letters “c and D” tend to receive lower grades than average.
A child’s name on a class roster is the first meeting that teacher has with their soon to be student. It is the first impression of their family. The spelling and structure give and idea of the parents level of education at the time the child was born….and let the teacher know how much support or struggle they may have from that parent.

Resume’s with ethnic names get fewer call back’s and interviews than mainstream names with traditional spellings.
Of course these are not hard and fast rules I know several very successful and well educated Shaniqua’s and Jamarion’s (with a variety of spellings) and other equally highly ethnic names.

I have also encountered a host of Arabic and Hebrew names that people think of as “ghetto” but are not. These names are full of history, meaning and beauty. But, our culture has placed a judgment  upon them. made them second class, taboo even.

What do you do? simply being aware of the power of a name is the first place to start.

I am overwhelmed. Drowning in the autism, ADHD, giftedness, exuberance, love, joy laundry, dishes, sleeplessness. Dinner. It’s all on this lady’s rather broad shoulders. And buddy it’s a big heavy load. I am however lucky I have help a mom who retired and moved in to care for her grand babies so no more daycare is needed. Who cooks meals when i am not here. Who loves them as much as I do.
Never the less, I am overwhelmed. sigh.

Insanity

%ow so much on my mind, lets stick with I am being driven insane. Slowly but surely I am being driven bat-shit crazy. People I am really loosing a grip here. I have to  interact with someone so stupid I wonder daily why their autonomic nervous system doesn’t shut down. Seriously evolution how could you let this happen??!!?!?!?! I have decided to simply write down some of the stupid and present it to all. Someone convince me it is not just me. Please!!!!!!

Anyone who has met me knows stupid is not something that sits easily with me. That is because true stupidity is absolutely willful. We live in the freakin’ information age. Anything you want to know is just a Google search away. No home internet? Go to the local library. Er My Gosh!! What shocking revelations!! In order to remain stupid one my fight for this. disavowing all research and written media. Fighting valiantly against new knowledge or wisdom entering their life.

Now Willful stupidity is not to be in anyway confused with ignorance. Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge and can be educated away. Most people have many subjects they are ignorant about either due to a lack of interest or lack of exposure. Most people are ignorant of the intricacies of neurosurgery, but most of us could with hard work, study, and acceptance in to a medical school and following internships learn. That is ignorance. Stupidity is refusing to understand that we humans use more than 10% (most) of our brain every day. People who still utter this little gem are willfully stupid. Just think about it for a minute. When was the last time a neurosurgeon said “Thank God She was shot in the 90% of her brain she wasn’t using!”

And that is not to say we don’t all have stupid moments. I’ve had some real zingers haven’t you?

Yet there are moments we encounter such needy stupidity one much wonder is God personally testing you? Is this a cosmic joke n the universe? Does evolution apply to everyone but this shockingly stupid individual? Am I becoming unhinged, unbalanced and imagining this crap because surely no one can survive this level of idiocy?

We received an email clearly stating that no prior year insurance elections would roll over. You must re-enroll. If you do not re-enroll you will be uninsured.

then after reading this email I was asked, “But don’t our insurance just roll over?”

the f@*#$ing email clearly said no election would roll over. Why are you speaking. Why are you still breathing?

On small talk and movies

“Hey you now that guy that plays Thor’s unadopted ( is that even a word?) magic brother?” asks Mororn.

“Uh yes” me

“I’m the same age as him!” said with a vacuous grin that was somehow full of excitement

“And the guy who plays superman?” moron says again

” You mean Henry Cavill?” I ask

” No it’s some British guy, ” (Wtf does this mean? Does this negate Henry Cavill as being a British name?)”I’m the same age as him too” again with the vacuous grin.

Everyone  we work with is from mid twenty’s to mid thirties. the same age as the actors in these films. Duh you are going to share birth years with a few other people in the world. Er My Gosh. more brilliance tomorrow

Hair care

I should probably mention  my hair is natural. By that I mean unrelaxed, un dyed basically no permanant chemical alterations. I do flat iron my hair no more the twice a month and it usually last for 1-2 weeks when i do flat iron it.
For my daughter’s hair i recetly got back into researching natural hair care, new products, old product, theories on hair care etc. We are back to our staple oil/moisturizer and sealant Raw Shea butter. I bought it in a 5 lb tin from Soul Shea. This makes the basis for almost every hair or skin care concoction I make. I have an excellent deep conditioner the just makes my hair so so soft.

recipe

1 eggs

3 tbs melted shea butter

2 tbs extra virgin oilve oil

2 tbs coconut oil.

mix well and allow mixture to cool. It will be a little liquidy. After washing our hair we soak, completely super saturate the hair with this mixture. Put on a processing cap and sit under a hair dryer on low for 15 min. Make sure you have a towel around your neck as it will melt.  To avoid heat altogether wrap a towel around your processing cap and wear for 45 mi  to an hour.

Rinse out with warm water. Then Wash your hair with a sulfate free shampoo again.  Condition, leave in condition, then proceed with styling as normal. My hair and my daughters hair are soo00000 soft and easy to manage now.

Currently my Fave Sulfate free shampoo is Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo. Best conditioner Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner.  I Love the pink line which is for curly hair bbut due to the extreme dyrness my daughter and I faced we are fosucing on moisturizing, sealing and protectiong for the next few weeks the I will go back to the curly hair shampoo and conditioner. But from the pink line I have become quite the fan of the curling smothie, and curling souffle combo with the Hold and shine spray. The hold and shine spray is not a stand alone spritx or curl definer it works best if you have used the smothie and souffle to define your curls and the next day need a spritz to refresh your hair. The name on that one is a little deceptive but the ingredients will tell you before you buy it that it has no holding power.

But I still want t make most of our hair and body products really uder the assumption that if you can’t eat it it sholdnt do on your hair and skin. I will always keep exceptions to the hair protecants I use when straightening my hair. I really wan to make sure It doe not get heat damaged. But when wearing a natural, or twist out or any of the many styles that do not require heat, the end goal is to make most at home.

On that note I am in the process of making a curl souffle tye product, I’ll let you know how it goes.