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Thanksgiving Recipe

Today I thought I’d share a yummy and healthy Thanksgiving recipe, full of antioxidants, but mostly full of incredible flavor and it’s SUPER EASY to do!  A friend introduced me to the recipe probably 15 years ago and every time I make it, it’s a hit.  Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe (it had brown sugar and butter, previously) to suit our tastes and desire to enjoy healthy “comfort food”, but this Paleo treat is sure to woo the people around your table.  Here you go:

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Basil

Preheat oven to 350, use 9 x 13 baking dish

2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 large yellow or white onion, diced
2 – 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 – 2 medium sized apples (Granny Smith or Pink Lady are my go-to’s), cut and cubed
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup raw honey
4 T + 2 T melted coconut oil, divided (or butter if you prefer)

*See final picture for TWO ways to cook this dish.

Saute onions and celery in 2 T coconut oil over medium heat until onions are tender, add 1 tsp dried basil 

Peel and cut sweet potatoes, and apples, into approximately 1″ cubes

Put sweet potatoes and apples into a large bowl

Melt 1/4 cup of honey and 4 T coconut oil in pan or microwave until the coconut oil is liquid (this does NOT take long…do not over heat!)

Pour celery, onion, basil mix into bowl, toss with honey and coconut oil

Pour into 9 x 13 oven safe baking dish and bake on 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
OR
Spread out onto a large roasting pan in a single layer and bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes or until tender.

IF there are any of these puppies left in the morning, they are actually fantastic cold for breakfast 😉

10 Things I Hate About Me

I just thought of that title so, either this list will be a piece of cake and I’ll need to make a part 2 and 3, or I will need to make some stuff up.

  1. My upper arms.
  2. My bent towards inconsistency.
  3. How my self-worth is so closely knit with 10 lbs of fat and whether I eat “clean”or not…or not.
  4. My eternal optimism for everyone else, but inability to offer it to myself.
  5. How I can treat the people I love the very most with complacency when I feel fat and failure-ish because I eat a carb instead of not.
  6. My unrelenting desire to make peace between others but my inability to make peace with myself.
  7. The fact that I could even write a list like this.
  8. That I am an isolationist when I don’t have my shit in order.
  9. How I will believe the best about you to a fault, even if you actually suck as a person.
  10. #3 and #6

A couple of weeks ago I sat on the floor in my closet and cried.  I hadn’t tripped trying to change my clothes, hitting my head on the dresser or wall or anything.  It wasn’t due to a physical injury.  I was crying because I’m messed up.  I was crying out to God.  “How can my worth be so intrinsically connected to the fat on my body?!?!  I don’t want to be this shallow!  I know You designed me to matter so WHY can’t I break free from this endless battle that rages in my head and heart?  Why can’t I just eat clean and be done with this friggin’ ‘journey’?????”

On Mother’s Day my daughter gave me a poem she had been working on for a couple of months.  Here it is, written exactly as she did:

why i love you mom
you are funny
you love me more than stars in the sky
you comfort me when I’m sad
I can talk to you about anything
you are fun to hang out with
you would do anything for me
you care for me
you’re compassionate
you’re creative
you’re loving
you have a good sense of humor
you’re talented
you can find good in anything
you have a awesome sense in fashion
andddd you’re awesome!!!!!!!!!!
you know me so well
mom, these are some the reasons i love you
Emily

I’ve never let Emily know how much I’m not a fan of myself.  I’m a good liar…except I’m actually known for totally sucking at lying.  I can’t do it.  I have never said, “I’m fat or ugly or I don’t like myself” in front of her.  But she’s not stupid, in fact, she’s quite brilliant.  And like I said, I suck at lying, so I know I’m not pulling the wool over her eyes.

This is NOT the legacy I want to leave…

So, on Tuesday I’m headed to see a counselor who specializes in Eating Disorders.

Because the things she loves about me are there deep down inside and they matter and they are the things I know make up my true beauty.  And I actually do believe these things about myself, the “beauty” my daughter sees, but what I believe in my head just hasn’t quite made it to my heart and I think I need someone to help me get there…

SAHM Ships Her Pants in the Big City

Yesterday I woke up sure I was dying of colon cancer.

I actually had all the signs according to the NIH.
 
The last month has proved to be a loose operation around here…and by “around here” specifically I mean me, my toilet, and I.  Almost a month ago I decided to do a Daniel Fast to pray about some specific things in my life and a lot of people in my life, and also to clean up my body a bit.  God put certain people on my heart and my times of study were really rich.  It’s always easier for me to fast while Jason is out of town and since he was headed to India for a week and a half I chose that time frame.  In true anal (huh) fashion, I typed up a schedule of my Daniel Fast, what foods were allowed, pretty much just veggies, and also wanted to be smart and take certain supplements to be sure I was cleaning out impurities as they released over the course of the week and a half.  All I know is, after a few days and some research and re-calculating, I “discovered” (since the evidence wasn’t enough?) that I was ingesting enough fiber for me and my family of 4…and probably your family of 4, as well.

photo courtesy of 4unews.com

Those are times I’m grateful my husband is out of town…I kid you not, I could barely breathe in bed every night.  And I’m not talking about sinus congestion.

Jason got home from India bringing some sort of foreign guest along in his colon.  Poor guy was way more worse off than I was, speaking of “loose operations” and all.  He finally got some meds and he was back in regular business after a couple of days.

Anyway, with him home, once he was able to eat again, I re-introduced fish and a little more lean protein to my “fast”.  And, since he got home prior to the weekend and we had a birthday party and I had been solo with the kids for 10 1/2 straight days and I’d eaten clean all that time and lifted, did Yoga, and hit the treadmill each day, I had a glass of wine on date night.  And some popcorn.  And split a gluten free dessert after dinner, but I was writing a “Trip Advisor” review, so that was important because, of course, no one cares and I’m not getting paid for it…but I was going to go back to clean the next morning.

And I got back to pretty clean/balanced eating but none of my “deposits” had gone back to “normal.”  In fact, at night my liver was hurting so I’d wake up and flip onto my left side to get back to sleep.  This, of course, put Jason in a trapped state, but since he sleeps through most things, I mean, what can you do? 

And then there are a few details I’ll leave out…

Finally I decided to back off my protein powder supplement laden with fiber, as well as my other fibrous supplements, and just let the regular fiber in my veggies do the trick to get me back to a regular pooping kind of girl…not to mention, I was headed to New York City for the upcoming weekend and didn’t want to become familiar, like some old person, with all the restrooms in the City.

This plan worked well.  Over the course of the weekend, walking miles and miles, hanging out with friends, hitting gluten-free foodie restaurants and strolling the tulip lined streets all over the City, I realized my bowels and I were, again, at one with the Universe.  Except for on Sunday evening when I looked and felt 7 months pregnant, without exaggeration, and could not for the life of me figure out what the culprit was because even though I had indulged a little in the City, I still didn’t eat my allergens.  I went to bed that night, sleeping on my left side, holding my baby belly, hoping all would be well in the morning.

The next morning was our day to leave.  We hit a local diner for breakfast and shared blueberries and an omelet.  I don’t eat eggs.  I haven’t had eggs in probably a year and a half because my blood work shows it to be my most extreme allergen.  But I thought, “Eh, it won’t be that big of a deal…it’s cleaner than me eating something like a straight up donut or piece of cheesecake or something…”

We got to the airport, seated on the plane, I fell fast asleep after take off with one of those horrifying open-mouthed plane deep sleeps we’ve all experienced.  All was well with my little world.  About a half an hour prior to landing I woke up because I was 7 months pregnant again.  My baby was raging mad…kicking…wanting out.

I wasn’t quite ready to “deliver” on the plane.

We de-planed and headed to the ladies room, but I guess it was just premature labor.

After a 45 minute drive home, I walked in the door and, let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty…at all…for four days straight.  The first night, in what is shy only a month of 20 years, Jason had to hit the couch for the first time because I was in and out of bed every 4 minutes.  “Hi, I’m home!  I’m sure you are so happy to have me home from NYC, huh?!”

Anyway, thankfully my sister was here during this time and was so very helpful with the kiddos while Jason was at work and I was “in my office.”  He said, “I bet you got food poisoning or something.”  I kept thinking, “I split meals with my friends and none of them are sick so it must just be some hidden allergen.” 

When things slowed a bit I started doing a little research about bowels and guts.  I researched the Mayo’s site, several natural health and infectious disease sites, read a few books on Crohn’s and colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.  I researched the causes, the symptoms, the underlying factors.

Jason said I probably got what he had when he got home from India.

I reminded him of my already tender digestive tract prior to my trip and told him it was more likely a sudden onset of Crohn’s…but deep down, I knew it was colon cancer and I was sad because I had heard two stories of people finding out they had cancer only two weeks prior and they left their families prematurely and my grandma had several inches of her colon removed and my parents have gut stuff and so do my sisters and with all my “fasting and cleansing” and eating clean and chocolate and wine binges, I’d probably jacked up my whole system and I was weeping because I wanted to watch Emily and Ryan grow up to love God and live boldly for Him and I had so much I needed to write down so they would know how much I love them and what kind of people they should marry and that they could be whatever they wanted to be if God was at the center of their lives being honored in it, and I wanted to renew my vows with Jason on our 20th, but now we weren’t going to Spain until August and would I make it until then and had I really left the world a better place than I found it or had I just wasted space and time and talents and there was so much to do if I was going to die, even though I wasn’t afraid of it…

Jason said, “Sweetheart, please just make an appointment with Dr. Snook and Dr. Julie and they can do some tests.  You probably just have a virus or something, but you won’t ever know until you go.  And you need to stop doing research on the Internet for a while.  Like, take a 5 day break or something…I mean it.”  He prayed for me in the kitchen and headed out the door for an overnight to Florida for work.

I got the kids in the car, did carpool, and headed up during rush hour traffic to a last minute appointment my friend had available.  The back pain was worse.  The cancer has spread.  And now nausea.  Last stages.  I was no longer seven months pregnant but rather, skinny from my week of steady trips to the loo.  My doctor friend (who I have known for 10 years and we are very, very close and she knows me all too well) said, “Hey, you look great!  What are you doing?”  I said, “I’ve been shitting in my pants all week non-stop…I’m not sure there’s a secret to it…you just loose weight?!*&%$#”  

She said, “What’s going on?”

I said, “I’m a mess! (*Insert BAWLING…)  I think I have colon cancer or Crohn’s or something…”

She checked me out, did a couple tests and said, “You have a virus…”

And then she said, “You need to take this because this will help, but I’m pulling out the Big Guns…”

And then she prayed for me.  Not just for my guts but for my mind and my train of thought and my heart and some of the details I can’t share here yet and God gave me His peace.

Life is short and I do need to write a few things down for both Emily and Ryan.  But I also need to live right here.  Right now, with INTENTION.

And I don’t know when my life here on Earth is meant to come to an end because I’m not in charge of that but I trust the One who has my days numbered in His grand plan.  I’m taking a break from digestive research even though it’s fascinating and I know from self-experimentation and documented research the benefits of clean eating on disease and health.

But for now, I will live with INTENTION.

My thoughts had become cancerous, not my bowels

I will not allow my head and heart to run on rabbit trails, but when and if I do, I know the One, my loving, steadfast Savior, who remains faithful even when I go darting off.

I guess I just needed the reminder:  It’s the slow and steady tortoise who wins in the end.

*Ever had a crazy “end of the world” kind of day?  You can leave it in the comment section so I don’t feel like the only one, or you can NOT and that’s okay, too…either way, it felt good to write it out…

Have a good weekend!

Go Green

These are some veggies I’ve been juicing lately.  I couldn’t rotate the picture for some reason, which is annoying, I know, but what has stood out to me the most as I’ve juiced one or two times a day is how colorful the foods are and how great I feel.  For some reason when I eat a salad or a plate full of sauteed veggies, I don’t really notice that the colors are so vibrant!  This has GOT to be good for me!

Pretty much if you add lemon, lime, or fresh ginger to any juice recipe, it’s a winner!

The veggies pictured previously did not create this smoothie.  I got it from the Juice Lady’s recipe for Cherie’s Awesome Green Smoothie.  Here is a link to more recipes.

Yes, it’s thick.  I’m slowly chugging it as I post…

And just for fun, this is what I’m wearing as I post!  It’s a snow day here in Colorado, so that’s Em in the background with her friend, suiting up to head back outside for a second round of snow fun!  And me?  Well, several years ago I found that green treasure at the Goodwill Thrift Store.  You know you want one!  I couldn’t resist buying it because it was SO retro and out there!  Jason and I shoveled the driveway together earlier today…and this is what I wore…I’m so glad he loves me even though I’m a weirdo!

So, I’m not going to lie.  The smoothie by Cherie Calbom is delicious, but it’s thick going down.  Here’s the recipe and then I’ll share my thoughts:

  • 1 Avocado, peeled and seeded, cut into chunks (I forgot to cut it into chunks)
  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled if not organic, cut into chunks (I used a regular one)
  • juice of one lime (I used 1 Tbsp organic lime juice from my fridge)
  • 1 Tbsp green powder of choice (I used Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW)
  • top with 2-3 tsp ground almonds (I skipped this as I am avoiding nuts right now…)

Then it says, place the top 5 ingredients in a blender and blend well, until smooth.

Let’s just say, I put it all in the blender and nothing happened.  I even have a high-powered blender.  I added a little water…this helped…for a little bit.  I added 8oz of water which finally allowed the ingredients to become a smoothie.

So, here’s the deal.  It actually tastes good.  It really does.  But.  But.  But.  I had what I think is a brilliant idea, since, really this drink is like trying to chug guacamole…

Add one or two more avocadoes, some fresh cilantro, a tomato and salt, up the green powder to 2 Tbsp and double the lime, then serve with fresh veggies sticks, yummy root chips or corn chips.

Seriously, your kids (or your husband) won’t know it’s got spinach, cucumber or the green powder in it.  It’s like that Deceptively Delicious book by Seinfeld’s wife…except taken up a notch.

And, always, always, always eat this wearing your green retro snowsuit from the 70’s.